If you’ve cleaned out your freezer lately, you’ve probably noticed there are a significant number of items in there that you really don’t need. There’s that package of steak that you bought 6 months ago that has enough freezer burn to render it unrecognizable; that dairy-free, nut-free ice cream you bought when you swore to yourself you were going to start a new diet; and of course, all those unmarked freezer bags full of unidentifiable leftovers. And then there are your ice cube trays — remember those? Before you toss them in the trash and reward your built-in ice machine full ice cube privileges, pause. Your ice cube trays may not be the easiest way to make ice cubes at home, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be incredibly useful to you in other ways.
One genius use for old ice cube trays is to store prepped ingredients so that you can cook in small batches. Cooking for one can be a hassle when sauce recipes make enough to serve 4 to 6 people or call for only a small amount of a much larger ingredient like fresh herbs. Go ahead and make that sauce recipe, but freeze individual portions of it for future use in your ice cube trays. And, save leftover herbs in another ice cube tray, frozen in olive oil, for future. Being able to portion out some of your favorite recipes and save them is perfect for when you’re cooking for one.
And, that’s just the beginning; read on to learn about other genius ways you should be using your ice cube trays and prepare to appreciate them all over again.
Make Edible Cocktails
Jell-O shots have a pretty bad reputation because they’re usually made with cheap vodka served in plastic shot glasses, and are considered painfully un-classy. We disagree; whip up these perfectly respectable blueberry martini Jell-O shots for your next get-together.
If you’ve ever purchased herbs from the grocery store for a particular dish, thinking you’ll use more in the future, you’ve probably also opened your refrigerator to see that your herbs have started to wilt and go bad after just a few days. Give them a longer life by preserving them in olive oil, then freezing them in your ice cube trays. Next time your recipe calls for both olive oil and herbs, you’re all set.