10 Genius Ways You Should Be Using Ice Cube Trays (Slideshow)
September 18, 2014
Repurpose your barely-used ice cube trays with these clever ideas
Make Peanut Butter Cups
Craving peanut butter cups? Make your own in an ice cube tray, eat as many as you want, and save the rest for later! Just pour melted chocolate into each section of your ice cube tray, then add a layer of peanut butter that’s been mixed with powdered sugar until it’s thickened slightly, top with more chocolate, and then freeze.
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.
It seems there are always a few eggs in a carton you won’t be able to use before they go bad. If yours are approaching the end of their life, crack them into ice cube trays and freeze them for future use. The texture of the eggs will be slightly different once they've thawed but they're still ok to use.
Portion Cookie Dough
Whenever I make cookies I always end up eating them all in one sitting. So, rather than bake them all at once, I like to bake half the batch and freeze the rest of the dough. Popping the dough into an ice cube tray is a good way to freeze just enough for one cookie at a time.
Homemade chicken or vegetable stock has more flavor than store-bought, but it doesn’t have a very long shelf life in your refrigerator. Plus, most stock recipes make a large batch. If you cook for one or two often, try freezing stock in ice cube trays so you can use it in small amounts. This method will keep your stock good for up to three months.
Easy Frozen Yogurt
Instead of buying a new pint of frozen yogurt every time you’re in the mood for a different flavor, make your own by portioning out regular yogurt into your ice cube trays and freezing it. When you’re ready to eat it, pop a few of your frozen yogurt cubes into a food processor and blend until creamy: all the enjoyment of frozen yogurt without the use of an ice cream maker or a trip to the store!
Freeze Ingredients for Smoothies
Smoothies can get expensive quickly. Instead of buying them all the time, freeze the ingredients you need for a smoothie (yes, even the greens). Then, toss the cubes into your blender for a super-fast smoothie. Bonus: since your ingredients are already frozen, you won’t need to throw in any extra ice cubes.
Tomato Sauce for One
You made a big pot of tomato sauce for your Friday night family dinner, but now you’re stuck with lots of leftovers. Rather than pour it all into one Tupperware, which always has the possibility of spilling in your refrigerator, portion out the sauce into your ice cube trays. That way, if you ever want a plate of pasta for one, you can pull out one or two portions of sauce, thaw a few minutes in the microwave or on the stove, and enjoy.
Just because you eat a lot of sushi, doesn’t mean you’ve mastered the skill of making your own at home. Cheat the system (just a little) by pressing sushi rice into ice cube trays, adding the rest of the fillings, and then scooping them out. Your friends will be amazed by your culinary skills!