Olives, with their diverse flavors and cultural significance, have been cherished for centuries.
Whether you’ve harvested them yourself or found a batch at the local market, you may be wondering how to prolong their freshness and enjoy their deliciousness and health benefits over time.
Сan you freeze olives?
Like many other fruits, olives can be frozen quite quickly by following some simple steps, like the ones in this guide on how to freeze pineapples.
Just when I know they’re about to go out of the market, I pick the freshest batch you can imagine, prep them properly, and have them frozen.
It’s a simple yet effective method that can lock in their flavor as well as their texture and elongate their shelf life.
In this step guide, I’ll walk you through those very steps I always use to give you the know-how that’s needed for freezing olives the right way!
What you need
Before you get down to business, it’s super important you gather all the essentials:
- Fresh olives: Choose ripe, blemish-free olives for the best results. Opt for both green olives and black olives including varieties like Kalamata, Manzanilla, or Picholine, each with its unique flavor profile.
- Water: A crucial element in the preparation process, water helps remove the bitterness from the fresh olives.
- Salt: Both flavor enhancer and preservative, ounces of salt is an important key ingredient in the preparation process.
- Freezer bags or airtight containers: Select airtight, freezer-safe bags or containers to keep your olives fresh throughout the storage period and prevent a freezer burn.
- Sharp knife: A sharp knife will assist in cutting, pitting, and slicing the olives.
- Cutting board: Choose a clean cutting board to prevent cross-contamination. This will serve as a neat surface for you to prep your clean olives for the freezing process.
How to prep your olives for freezing
Properly preparing your olives is essential for maintaining their quality during freezing. Here’s how to do it:
- Sort and clean: Sort through the olives, discarding any olives that are overripe or damaged. Rinse them thoroughly under cold water to remove dirt and debris. You can use a colander for this step if it would be more convenient for you.
- Crack or slice: To allow flavors to penetrate during freezing, crack each olive slightly with a knife or give them a gentle slice. This step will also help the olives absorb the brine evenly.
- Soak in water: Place the olives in a bowl of cool water. Change the water daily for about 10 to 14 days, depending on the olive variety. This process helps remove bitterness from the olives.
- Brine solution: Create a brine solution by dissolving salt in water. The ratio should be about 1/2 cup of salt per gallon of water. Stir until the salt is completely dissolved and you have a concentrated salt solution.
- Brine bath: Submerge the prepared batch of olives in the prepared brine solution. Ensure they are completely covered. Leave the olives in brine for an additional 10 to 14 days. This step adds flavor and acts as a preservative.
How to freeze olives
Once your olives are properly prepared, it’s time to freeze them for long-lasting enjoyment:
- Drain and Dry: Remove the olives from the brine solution and drain them thoroughly. Pat them dry with a clean kitchen towel.
- Portion: Divide the dry olives into portion sizes suitable for your needs. This will make it easier to defrost only what you plan to use.
- Packaging: Place the olives into airtight freezer bags or containers. Squeeze out any excess air, you don’t want to have yourself any freezer-burnt olives.
- Label and Date: Clearly label the bags or freezer-safe airtight containers with the type of olives and the freezing date. This helps you keep track of how long the frozen olives have been in store.
- Freeze: Put the olives in the freezer. They can be stored for up to six months, although they are best enjoyed within the first three months for optimal flavor and texture.
Do olives go bad if frozen?
Freezing olives is a great way to prevent the versatile fruits from going bad when you have surplus olives to store.
It is important to note that the taste and delicious textures of the frozen olives will change when they’re brought out of the freezer and left to thaw.
How long do olives last in the fridge?
Depending on the cultivar and how you prep them, olives can last anywhere from 4-12 days to even 4-12 months. They have an impressive shelf life.
Olives stored in a brine solution do tend to last much longer (they stay for up to a year) than those that are kept dry (keep well for a few days) so take that into consideration when you’re storing your fruits.
Can you freeze black or green olives?
Both black and green olives can be frozen once prepped correctly. They will keep well for up to 6 months depending on the technique you used to freeze them.
Although, olives are usually brined before freezing to give them a better texture when they’re brought out to thaw when ready to be used.
Can you freeze canned black olives?
Yes, you can freeze canned black olives. It’s a simple process that can help prolong their shelf life.
Frozen canned olives can be used in salads, pasta dishes, pizza pies, and as a Mediterranean-style snack.
What is the best way to store olives?
The best ways to store olives are in brine and oil. Plastic containers and bags that are freezer safe should also be used for this to help keep the olives fresh while they’re in storage.
How do you preserve leftover olives?
Freezing olives is the best way to preserve leftover olives. Frozen olives, when prepped properly, have a better chance of staying fresh compared to if they were kept at room temperature.
Freezing olives allows you to savor their wonderful taste and versatility for months to come.
With the right preparation and a bit of patience, you can enjoy these delectable fruits as amazing additions to your culinary creations or simply as a delightful snack.
So, the next time you have a surplus of fresh olives, remember this guide to freeze them while preserving their essence and goodness.
How to freeze olives?
- Olives (black or green)
Prepping olives for freezing:
- Sort and clean: Discard overripe or damaged olives. Rinse thoroughly under cold water, using a colander if convenient.
- Crack or slice: Slightly crack each olive with a knife or make a gentle slice for better flavor absorption and even brine penetration.
- Soak in water: Place olives in a bowl of cool water. Change the water daily for 10 to 14 days, depending on the olive variety, to remove bitterness.
- Brine solution: Dissolve 1/2 cup of salt in a gallon of water to create a concentrated salt solution.
- Brine bath: Submerge prepared olives in the brine solution, ensuring they are completely covered. Leave them in brine for an additional 10 to 14 days for flavor and preservation.
- Drain and dry: Remove olives from the brine solution and drain thoroughly. Pat them dry with a clean kitchen towel.
- Portion: Divide dry olives into portion sizes suitable for your needs to make defrosting easier.
- Packaging: Place olives in airtight freezer bags or containers. Remove excess air to prevent freezer burn.
- Label and date: Clearly label bags or containers with the olive type and freezing date to track storage time.
- Freeze: Put olives in the freezer. They can be stored for up to six months, with optimal flavor and texture within the first three months.