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Ice, Ice Baby: Making the Most of Your Ice Cube Tray

Frozen lemon juice

Frozen soy milk

It’s not just for ice anymore. The simple ice cube tray offers a brilliant way to preserve fresh ingredients for later use. If you’re like me and cooking for just two (three when the Kiddo is here), using up fresh ingredients before they spoil can be a challenge. I try to plan my meals so that they share common ingredients, which helps. But I’m quickly learning the ice cube tray can be a great “fresh saver.”

Here are a few examples:

  • Lemons or limes on sale? Buy a bag, juice ’em, and freeze the juice in your trays. Once frozen, dump them in a freezer bag, label them (frozen lime and lemon juice look a lot alike!), and you’ll have perfectly portioned “real” juice on hand when you need it for a recipe, instead of having to use those little lime/lemon-shaped squeeze bottles with all the extra preservatives.
  • Preserve extra fresh herbs or garlic by chopping and mixing with a bit of garlic oil, then freeze in your trays.
  • Frozen cubes of soy/almond milk or Greek yogurt are great for adding to smoothies if you like them icey, but don’t want to water them down with extra ice.

  • Freeze leftover coffee to add to iced coffee–again, it will keep your iced coffee¬†from getting watered down when the ice melts.

There have to a thousand other creative ways to use your ice cube trays for more than just ice. What goes in your trays besides water?