Garlic makes a flavorful addition to most meat and vegetable dishes and offers many health benefits when eaten regularly, including protection against heart disease and cancer. If you enjoy eating garlic and like to save money by buying it in bulk or growing your own at home, you can ensure that no garlic perishes in your kitchen by mixing it with olive oil and freezing it for later use. You can then remove only as much garlic as you need from the freezer when cooking.
Place one or more garlic bulbs on a cutting board so that the root faces down. Press down hard on each bulb with the palm of your hand until the cloves separate from the bulb.
Peel as many garlic cloves as you'd like to freeze by laying them on your cutting board or another flat surface and then quickly smashing them with the flat side of a knife. Peel the cracked papery outsides from the cloves and discard them.
Add one part garlic to two parts olive oil in a food processor or blender.
Puree the garlic and oil mixture until it reaches your desired consistency. You can either puree it until it is completely smooth or leave it slightly lumpy.
Scoop the mixture out of the food processor and into plastic ice cube trays.
Freeze the trays until the mixture is mostly solid.
Remove the cubes from the trays and transfer them to a freezer-safe container with a lid. This enables you to remove one or more cubes as needed when cooking.
Label and date the container.
If you cannot or do not want to puree your garlic, you can simply add the cloves directly to the oil and freeze them for several months at a time.
Do not store garlic mixed with oil in the refrigerator or at room temperature. The combination of the garlic's barely acidic pH and the anaerobic environment created by the oil encourage the growth of Clostridium botulism, the bacterium that causes botulism, according to the University of Missouri. Once you mix the garlic with oil, you must immediately use it, freeze it or throw it away.