Can you freeze olives?

In this brief guide, we will answer the query, “Can you freeze olives?” and will discuss how to properly freeze olives.

Can you freeze olives?

Yes, you can freeze olives. The shelf life of frozen olives is six months. Olives may be frozen in a variety of ways. Olives may be frozen in an airtight container or brined before freezing to enhance their texture.

However, the formation of ice crystals (frozen extracellular water) due to low tempera- tures leads to the breakdown of cellular structures and may alter the texture and flavor of the olives, as well as the chemical composition. Consequences include contact between enzymes and substrates, then alteration in the extracted olive oils. In particular, there is a more advanced oxidative/hydrolytic state and loss of minor components and volatiles (1).

What is the Best Method for Freezing Olives?

There are simply a few straightforward steps involved in freezing fresh olives so that you will always have them on hand when you need them.

Washing the Olives

For a few minutes, run the olives under cold water in a colander. Drain them in a strainer and then let them dry out in the open air. If necessary, blot them dry with a paper towel.

Put olives in a Can

Grab a freezer-safe container with an airtight cover and keep your food fresh in the fridge. Ensure that you allow approximately half an inch of space at the top of the container for the olives to fit. Make room in your freezer for the olives to expand after they freeze. Olives can also be placed in polyethylene freezer bags without air (1). 

 Olives may be stored in the freezer for up to a year.

Put the container in the freezer and label it with the date and time. If you don’t shake the container after 30 minutes, the olives will freeze together. Olives of any kind may be used in this manner. Black, green, filled and nocellara olives may all be frozen this way. Olives will be softened during storage and this effect may be reduced by boiling them in salted water (6 tablespoons per gallon water) for 15 minutes before freezing. After this procedure, the olives can be stored for 1 year (2).

How to brine olives?

You may also immerse the olives in a saltwater bath before freezing them if you like. When they defrost, they’ll preserve their familiar texture this way.

Make brine liquid

Using four ounces of salt for every gallon of water or 120 grams of salt for every four liters of water, boil some brine.

Olives in brine

The brine solution should be poured over the olives, which should be placed in a pan. For ten to fifteen minutes, bring this to a boil.

Rinse

After removing the brine from the olives, put the olives in cold water and then dry them.

Store

Olives may be frozen by placing them in a container that can be stored in the freezer.

Freeze

Before you put the olives in the freezer, make sure to name and date them.

3 tips for freezing olives

Now that you’ve learned how to freeze olives, we’ve put together a list of our top three suggestions for ensuring the greatest results:

Texture Enhancement using Brine

The texture of pre-brined olives may be improved by bringing them before freezing or purchasing them already brined. Olives that have been frozen may get a bit squishy, however, brine lessens this effect.

Best used in cooking

It is possible to disguise the texture changes that occur when utilizing frozen foods in cooked recipes. Olives, too, are affected by this. Puttanesca and other pasta sauces don’t modify the texture when they’re topped on a pizza.

Flash freeze

To make it simpler to grasp a bit at a time, flash freezing will prevent the olives from adhering together after they’ve frozen. However, it does take a while.

Olives may be stored in the freezer for a long time, but how long can you keep them?

Frozen olives have a long shelf life, as do fresh olives in general. Up to six months of freshness may be maintained by freezing olives, although we doubt they’ll be around for that long anyhow! They’re too good to resist. Olives may be frozen for up to six months.

However, even for short periods of storage, the nutritional properties of the olives decrease. According to studies, as a result of the storage of frozen olives, there is a slowdown of spoilage due to inhibited microbial growth, reduced biochemical and enzymatic reactions, and decreased water activity. There is also water ice crystallization, most likely resulting in cell structure breakdown and the consequent contact between enzymes and substrates (e.g. lipase, peroxidase, lipoxygenase and poliphe- noloxidase acting on the fatty and/ or phenolic fraction). As a consequence, there is an increase in the peroxide formation and decrease in the phenolic profile of the olives (1).

How to defrost olives?

Defrosting olives couldn’t be much easier, since there are only three steps involved. Olives need to be stored in the refrigerator for a few hours before use. Overnight defrosting will guarantee that they are completely thawed and ready to use.

Olives: Is It Possible to Refreeze Them?

Olives should not be refrozen, according to our advice. Changing the texture of the olives may have a significant influence on their overall flavor. You don’t want to wind up with mushy, tasteless olives when you refreeze them.

Does Olive freeze well?

If you freeze olives, you get a variety of opinions. Others find the texture shift annoying, while others find it pleasant. Choosing the brined olives version is the best option if you don’t want to experience too much texture alteration.

A treatment with lye is commonly used to increase the texture of olives to be stored. It is made before the olives are boiled in brine. The lye breaks the chemical bond between oleuropein (bitterness compound) and sugars in the olives, thus avoiding bitterness. After this procedure, lye is removed and olives are rinsed with water. Olives become a “buttery” taste and a firm texture (2).

But if you’re going to mix or puree your frozen olives, you won’t have to worry about the texture changing and may utilize a more easy way of freezing.

Is Stuffed Olives Safe to Freeze?

The procedure outlined above may be used to freeze stuffed olives. Before you put your olive in the freezer, think about what it’s filled with. The texture might turn dry and spongy if it has cheese in it, thus freezing it is not recommended. The exception is if they’re packed with pimento or anchovies. 

Olive Oil: Is It Possible to Freeze It?

You can, of course. An ice cube tray filled with herbs is one of the most common methods of freezing olive oil for use in a sauce, soup, or stew. With rosemary, we’ve done exactly what you’re describing.

A research compared the effects of cold storage versus room temperature storage on the nutritional properties of olive oil. Results indicated that frozen storage of olive oil maintained higher levels of antioxidant compounds (α-tocopherol, total phenols), oxidative stability and fruitiness after 12 months of storage. For this reason, freezing could be considered as an appropriate system of storage to maintain the functional compounds of olive oil (3).

Other FAQs about Olives that you may be interested in.

How to preserve olives

Can you eat fresh olives?

Can you eat olive pits?

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we answered the query, “Can you freeze olives?” and discussed how to properly freeze olives.

References

  1. Masella, Piernicola, et al. Freezing/storing olives, consequences for extra virgin olive oil quality. Int J Refrig, 2019, 106, 24-32.
  2. Yada, Sylvia. Olives: safe methods for home pickling. UCANR Publications, 2007.  
  3. Abenoza, M., et al. Effect of low-temperature storage under optimal conditions on olive oil quality and its nutritional parameters. Riv Ital Sostan Grasse, 2015, 7, 243-251.

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.