Dehydrating oily olives
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Gary Dunckel
(Zia-Grill-Guy) - MLife

Locale: Boulder
Dehydrating oily olives on 10/15/2009 10:36:37 MDT Print View

I want to dehydrate some Spanish olives to mix in with hummus powder on the trail. The olives I picked up yesterday were swimming in olive oil. I'm wondering how well they will dehydrate, and also what the fridge shelf life will be, given all that oil. Should I rinse them in hot water first, to get some of the oil out? Please help, Laurie and Sarah!

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Gary on 10/15/2009 10:54:30 MDT Print View

In all honesty I have only dried water or brine packed ones. So no experience to tell you on that question...sorry!

Gary Dunckel
(Zia-Grill-Guy) - MLife

Locale: Boulder
Olives on 10/15/2009 11:40:03 MDT Print View

Thanks, Sarah. Unless Laurie chimes in, I think I'll just pour some near-boiling water over them, blot them with a paper towel, slice them up, and give 'em a try today. I'll let you know...

Laurie Ann March
(Laurie_Ann) - F

Locale: Ontario, Canada
olives on 10/15/2009 12:25:25 MDT Print View

I'm in the same boat as Sarah... the boiling water is your best bet.

Stephen Barber
(grampa) - MLife

Locale: SoCal
"dried" olives on 10/15/2009 12:37:32 MDT Print View

In some stores you can get olives that have been cured by drying in (dry) salt, then packed in oil. They tend to be stronger tasting than regular olives. They look wrinkled instead of smooth and plump. Is this what you have?

If so, I would recommend just wiping the oil off with a paper towel, pitting them, and taking them as is, perhaps in a separate baggie from the rest of your meal.

Paul Lippi
(Ozniot) - F
packing olives on 10/19/2009 20:06:41 MDT Print View

I often pack olives for flavoring polenta, chili, lentils, etc. Once I tried ziplocks and made a big mess in my food bag. Now I pack the olives in a 4 oz widemouth Nalgene. A bit on the heavy side, but I've never had problems with spoilage or leakage. I cut the olives off the pits before putting them in the bottle to save weight. If you mix up your own recipes, omit the salt; the olives you add contain more than enough salt. Since you're carrying the bottle anyway, you may as well use the empty space to add some nice olive oil. Most dishes that are improved with olives taste better with a touch of olive oil. On the trail you can use the extra calories.

Gary Dunckel
(Zia-Grill-Guy) - MLife

Locale: Boulder
Olives on 10/20/2009 07:03:51 MDT Print View

Thanks, all. Good advice all around. I haven't tried the dehydrator on them yet, maybe I will today. We'll see how it goes. But the thought of taking fresh olives seems more enticing anyway, doesn't it? That's why I try to go light to begin with, so that I can add back a few ounces of goodies to eat better out there.

Laurie Ann March
(Laurie_Ann) - F

Locale: Ontario, Canada
olives on 10/20/2009 08:42:10 MDT Print View

Surprisingly enough, olives come back really nicely after being dehydrated and it certainly saves weight. Let me know how your olive drying works out for you.

Gary Dunckel
(Zia-Grill-Guy) - MLife

Locale: Boulder
Oily olives on 10/22/2009 14:38:34 MDT Print View

Laurie, the project worked beautifully! I soaked the olives in very hot water for a few minutes, which did seem to remove the oil from the outside of the olives. Then blotted them with a paper towel. I was surprised when I sliced them that the insides were no more oily than a brine olive. The pimento stuffing tried to escape, of course, but I was too quick for the little guys. Anyway, 5 hours of drying at 135*F, and they were perfect. It reduced the weight 65%. This morning, breakfast was pita and olive/Indian spice hummus. Man, how good it was! I was pleasantly impressed with how quickly the olives rehydrated. My only questions now are (1) what is the refrigerator shelf life, and (2) what other spices/additives do you suggest I experiment with? What goes well with olives? I'm thinking of some small-diced Harmony House veggies...