Freezing food in ice cube trays

Quick Fix: 10 ways to save time and money by using old ice cube trays

Now that almost everyone has an ice maker in their fridge, the ice cube tray has become one of the most underrated tools in the kitchen. But ice cube trays are still pretty handy and there are still lots of good reasons to keep a few trays around:

  1. Many recipes use one or two tablespoons of tomato paste or just one cup of broth. What to do with the remaining paste and broth left in the can? Freeze it in ice cube trays then unmold them into zip lock bags. This also works well for buttermilk, coconut milk and baby food.
  2. Have lots of fresh herbs in your garden? Freeze them in olive oil in ice cube trays. Pack the chopped herbs in the trays and pour olive oil over the top. For a taste of summer add frozen to soups and stews all winter long. For a taste of summer all year long you can make pesto and freeze it in the cube tray as well.
  3. Make wine ice cubes with leftover wine. Sometimes a cool glass of wine is just the ticket. This works especially well with whites but sometimes reds are better a little cool as well.
  4. Freeze juice into cubes and add it to sparkling water for a zippy cooler.
  5. Freeze leftover coffee in cubes and add to iced coffee so it doesn’t water it down.
  6. Freeze leftover bacon grease and brown potatoes, onions or the makings of soups and stews in the flavorful fat.
  7. The next time you make cookies from scratch, save some of the dough portioned out into an ice cube tray. Then bake them off as many as you want for a sinful, just for you treat.
  8. Cut a lemon into 8 pieces and pop each slice into a cube, cover with water and freeze for a garbage disposal freshener-upper. Just drop a cube in the disposal and run it with hot water.
  9. Sometimes when baking you need only the whites or the yolks of eggs to make a cake. Freeze the leftovers in cube trays and use them the next time you make scrambled eggs.
  10. Sometimes you only use a half a lemon or lime. Squeeze the rest into an ice cube tray and freeze for later use in drinks and recipes.
Carla Snyder
Posted by: Carla Snyder
Carla has spent the past 30 years in the food world as a caterer, artisan baker, cooking school teacher, food writer and author of 6 cook books including the James Beard nominated Big Book of Appetizers. Her passion is sharing fresh, cooked-from-scratch weeknight meals that cut prep time and practically eliminate that nightly sink full of dishes. Look for Carla on Facebook, Twitter (carlacooks), Pinterest and at ravenouskitchen.com where she blogs about everything from cooking for two to easy weekend entertaining for a crowd.

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