Ice cubes trays aren’t just for making ice cubes. There’s a whole lot of uses for this versatile kitchen supply. To play it safe, it’s best to use silicone trays as these are easier to manipulate and to pop out anything you’ve put in them. Also, keep in mind that if what you put into your tray has water, chances are that it will double in volume. So, without further ado, here are things you can put into your ice cube tray other than water.
If you’re a fan of iced coffee, then freezing some of your favorite coffee for later use will ensure you don’t have to drink watered-down coffee ever again. Whether you’ll put hot or cooled-down coffee doesn’t matter as it won’t ruin your freezer despite popular belief.
Blueberry martini jello shots
These jello shots are sure to impress your guests not only because they look spectacular, but because they’re delicious thanks to the blueberries. You can make the two days ahead and let them sit in the freezer until the guests arrive. Another great thing about anything containing blueberries is that research shows that they can help those wondering how to improve memory.
How many times did your buttermilk go to waste because a recipe called for half a cup or a few teaspoons of buttermilk? This scenario is more common than you thing and one way to prevent throwing half-emptied containers of buttermilk and to have a supply always available is simply by freezing the leftovers.
A genius way to preserve fresh herbs is by freezing them in olive oil. Herbs like rosemary, sage, and thyme are more often than not used with olive oil so you get to have a bouillon cube-like version of your favorite spices always at hand.
Whenever you have leftover cookie dough, place it into your ice cube tray. If you have an ice cube tray with larger sections, that would be perfect for your cookie dough that you simply pop in the oven to defrost once you plan on baking cookies. Rumor has it that they even taste better this way. But they may not be a part of the best diet plan for weight loss, however.
The problem with smoothies is that by the time you reach half of your glass, the mixture is already watered down by the melted ice. To get around this, freezing plain or flavored yogurt can do the trick. When you’re ready to make your smoothie, simply put the cubes along with milk, fruits, and your other favorite ingredients in a blender and you’re good to go.
To give your cocktails a bit of a twist, add some mint, edible flowers, or candied fruit into the middle of your ice cube tray and poor with plain water. This gives your cocktails a bit more play and flavor.
Peanut butter cups
These delicious and healthy peanut butter cups is an easy way to make homemade candy using ice cube trays. The recipe uses only organic ingredients and chocolate with 85 cocoa which means that it’s healthy in addition to being scrumptious.
Frozen peanut butter and berry pops
Another healthy treat, these frozen peanut butter and berry pops are a smart way to use extra-large ice cube silicone trays. To make these pops, you’ll need to spend a bit more time freezing the individual ingredients, but the effort is definitely worth it.
Freeze leftover wine
On rare occasions when you have some wine left, pour it into your ice cubes, pop into the freezer, and use for cooking or making sangria or mulled wine. The wine most likely won’t retain its flavor once frozen but nevertheless, freezing will help prevent good wine going to waste.
We all love pesto over our pasta from time to time, but this delicious sauce has a short shelf life once opened. To prevent throwing away good pesto, simply pour any leftovers into your tray and freeze for later use.
Frozen fruit juice
If you want to make a nice carbonated drink even your kids will enjoy, freeze cubes of your favorite fruit juice, and add to glasses of carbonated water. This makes a refreshing and interesting drink you’ll find particularly enjoyable on summer days.
Most of us don’t have any vegetable or chicken stock available for sauces, stir-fries, and stews. Luckily, you can always freeze extra stock into your ice cube trays and use individual cubes to add flavor to your meals. You can also use the whole tray to make instant homemade soup.
Frozen tomato sauce
Just like with frozen stock, you can also freeze extra tomato sauce in cases where a recipe calls for some tomato. Freezing tomato sauce will also make late-night dinner making much easier for when you’re feeling drained from your daily hassle but need a bowl of tomato pasta ASAP.
Too lazy to squeeze lemon juice when you’re barely awake at 7 AM? Squeeze a few lemons, put them in the freezer and you have ready-made lemon juice available when you most need it. It may take some time for the juice to melt, so it’s a good idea to defrost it in the microwave halfway through.
Fruity summer-striped ice cubes
These stripy ice cubes area easier to make than you may think. They’re also a convenient way to enjoy a colorful and fruity drink on hot summer days. You’ll just need to layer coconut milk, some juice, and green smoothie and put it in the freezer for up to two months.
Pumpkin spice latte
These pumpkin spice latte cubes are just as good as Starbuck’s special. No, wait! They’re even better because they contain much less sugar and you get to adjust the ratio of individual ingredients to your own liking. They’re also good for the summer when most of us just can’t handle hot drinks.
Coconut water ice cubes
Studies show that coconut water is just as good as electrolyte sports drinks for rehydration. To have them always handy and enjoy them with carbonated water, simply freeze your coconut water into your ice cube tray and enjoy whenever you need quick rehydration.
Flavored ice cubes
Plain ice cubes are boring, so why not add flavor to spice things up a bit? These flavored ice cubes by Stephanie Lyn are beautiful, refreshing, and, of course, packed with flavor. She suggests different varieties of flavored ice cubes on her blog all of which seem equally delicious.
Frozen cheesecake bites
If you are a fan of one-bite sweets, then these frozen cheesecake bites may be just what you are looking for. The small portion of these bites also means that you get to enjoy cheesecake without worrying about eating too many calories.
Ice Cube dark chocolate
This easy-to-make and antioxidant-rich dessert takes 5 minutes to make and only 4 ingredients. All you need is some almond milk, cocoa powder, vanilla extract, and dark chocolate chips. Melt them over low heat and freeze in your ice cube tray. You can eat them alone or add to smoothies, coffee, or hot chocolate.
Lemon and ginger tea cubes
If you are feeling run down and have a sore throat, then Preparedness Mama suggests having these available in your freezer. Simply cut very thin slices of lemon and ginger, place them into your ice cube tray, and pour water. When you feel a cold coming on, pour hot water over a cube and flavor as desired.
Let’s face it, you need parsley for almost any recipe out there. When you can’t find fresh parsley, or won’t bother to grow your own, then chop a large bunch of parsley and place into your ice cube tray. When you need a dash of parsley over hot soup or any other dish, just pop a cube and the parsley will melt almost instantly.
Minced garlic and ginger
If you are someone who likes to use a lot of minced garlic and ginger for your favorite Asian-themed dishes, then mincing both and freezing for easy use may be a good choice. This will save you time and both ingredients don’t lose flavor when frozen.
If you like all things thrifty, then make sure to never throw away any roasted dinner leftovers. Instead, place them in your ice cube tray for easy gravy-making when you have mashed potatoes as your side dish.
Leftover egg whites
Since you can freeze whole eggs, you can also freeze egg whites. Many baking recipes call for egg yolks or egg whites specifically. If you have any leftover egg whites, you can freeze them and use them later to mage angel food cake.
These romantic treats take so little effort to make and they still look and taste good. Simply melt some chocolate, pour into your ice cube tray, and place a strawberry in each serving and chill until set.
Frozen baby food
Innovative ideas like these that save mom time are always welcomed. Freezing baby food is completely safe, saves all important nutrients, and your time of course. So, feel free to put some of that baby food in your tray for later use.
Make flavored water
If you like your water to have some taste to it, then add mint leaves or lemon peel to your ice cube tray, pour water and let freeze. When you need a refreshing and flavorful drink, place the cubes in a glass of water and enjoy.
Aloe vera gel for sunburn relief
Freezing aloe vera gel is a good way to get relief from a sunburn. The cubes will cool down your skin and they highly moisturizing aloe gel will stay on your skin as the cube melts.
Try these different ways to use ice cube trays, and you’ll make a living a whole lot easier. Make sure to have different sized ice cubes available. Another thing to consider is placing the cubes into ziplock bags once the cubes are set.