Olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fats. It also contains antioxidants. It is used in lots of Mediterranean dishes and recipes. It is a healthy option in salads, marinades, and other dishes. Olive oil has a great shelf life but could go bad for a varying number of reasons.
Olive oil would go rancid upon exposure to air, heat, and light. Since you can freeze various food items to preserve them, why can’t you do the same for olive oil?
Can you freeze olive oil? Yes, you can. You can freeze and store olive oil for 18 to 24 months. Freezing oil will protect it and keep the nutrients intact.
If you want to keep your olive oil in optimal condition, then you should keep it in a conducive environment. Below 40°F, olive oil starts to congeal. At 10°F, it freezes solid.
How to Freeze Olive Oil
When olive oil is used in refrigerated products, oil manufacturers use a process called winterizing. This process helps to prevent clouding and congealing as the oil in the product freezes. In this process, oil manufacturers chill the oil and filter it so that as it freezes in the refrigerated products, it would look normal.
Unwinterized oil returns to its natural state once it has thawed and gone back to the normal room temperature.
Step 1: Storage
You can freeze olive oil in its normal state so you do not need any form of preparation. The storage medium for storing oil is also very important as it factors into how long the oil can be stored.
Olive oil should not be stored inside plastic containers. This is because the oil can absorb chemicals from plastic. A glass container would do just fine. You can also use a non-reactive metal container. Pour the olive oil into these containers and label the content and date of the freeze.
If left unopened, your olive oil can last for 18 to 24 months, so you should have used it all up by then.
Step 2: Freezing Olive Oil into Cubes (Optional)
Another way to freeze olive oil is to freeze them into cubes. This method is popularly used for freezing herbs but can be used to freeze ordinary oil. If your freezer or refrigerator does not have an ice cube maker, you can get an ice cube tray and use that instead.
Pour the oil into the ice cube tray, leave a little bit of headspace because liquids expand as they freeze. Put the trays into the freezer and wait until the olive oil freezes solid.
You can then remove the tray, get the cubes, and store them in Ziploc bags or airtight freezer bags. When frozen into cubes, olive oil cannot absorb the chemicals present in plastic.
Step 3: Freezing
Put your glass bottles or packs of frozen olive oil cubes into the freezer to store for a long period. In the case of the frozen olive oil cubes, expel as much air as possible before you seal the bags.
Don’t forget the labels, so you would not mix up the olive oil, in case you have another kind of oil stored in the freezer.
How to Thaw Frozen Olive Oil
When you want to thaw oil, just leave it out on the counter till it returns to the normal room temperature. For olive oil frozen into cubes, you can thaw them as you cook in a pan over low heat.
Some people like their oil refrigerated so they can use it as a spread. If you fall into this category, you can leave the bottle of oil to thaw in the refrigerator at a regulated chilled temperature.
Although freezing does not change the flavor and taste of olive oil, it weakens the molecular structure of the olive oil. This simply means that your oil will become rancid quicker than if you had not frozen it. So, thawed olive oil should be used as soon as possible.
Is there a Difference between Vegetable Oil and Olive Oil?
Yes, there is a difference. They do not come from the same source. Olive oil is made from the olive fruit.
Vegetable oil is made from a blend of fats from different sources like sunflower, coy, and so on. It contains pro-inflammatory fats and is lacking micronutrients. Olive oil is healthier than vegetable oil. It is favored by people that idolize healthy eating.
What Happens if You Consume Olive Oil Every Day?
We have emphasized the beneficial importance of olive oil to the human body. Unlike vegetable oil, olive oil contains anti-inflammatory compounds and antioxidants.
Taking a spoonful of olive oil every day can help boost metabolism, improve digestion, help bone structure, benefit the heart, and help stabilize blood sugar levels.