Nobody ever really thinks about ice cubes, do they? They just sit in our freezers, waiting to be dropped into a room temperature glass of water or a cocktail shaker. But you don't have to use your ice cube tray merely to make ice and ice doesn't only have to be made out of water! Shocking, we know.
We say, it's time head to your freezer, empty out those molds, and get creative. Check out these 10 tricks to making the most out of your ice cube tray!
Freezing edible flowers in ice cubes is one of our favorite party tricks! Simply grab a couple leaves of lavender, dandelion, carnation, apple blossoms, or jasmine, place them in ice cube trays then cover with water. Once frozen, use them in lovely punch bowls, kids drinks, or cocktails.
Just like with flowers, freezing fruit can add a fun punch to your cocktail or a little zest to plain water. Pick colorful fruits and berries like raspberries, blueberries, mango, kiwi, and citrus, place them in a cool mold, cover with water, and freeze.
Want a super foods smoothie? Freeze some coconut water in ice cube trays to make fun, flavored ice to drop into juices and shakes. It adds a subtle coconut flavor and a touch of sweetness and won't water down fruit-packed drinks.
Best idea ever: freeze the bacon fat drippings from your pan so that you can use them later. Simply skim the fat into an ice cube tray (that you won't use for ice later) and freeze. When you're ready to use, warm the single serving in a pan and toss it into your recipe. We love a bit drizzled over popcorn!
Chipotles in Adobo
Need an extra (and quick) kick to your meal? Blend a can of chipotles in adobo, then save it by freezing separate chunks in ice cube trays. Then you can simply add a batch to meatloaf, stuffed peppers, bean dip and even mayo for that extra sabor.
Lemon or Lime Juice
Don't use store-bought lemon or lime juice! Instead, take advantage of a sale at your grocery store to stock up on these citrus fruits, then juice a big batch into ice cube trays to freeze. You can use them in cocktails, as an addition to soups and stews, even to dress up a glass of water.
You can free almost any herb for later use in cooking (we especially like freezing cilantro in olive oil). But our favorite is mint leaves in ice. They're perfect for summer mojitos.
A great way to make sure you always have homemade sofrito on hand is to prepare a big batch ahead of time, then freeze it in ice cubes. When you're ready to cook, simply pop one out and throw it into your recipe. It's the easiest way to start cooking!
Have leftover wine from dinner or that recipe you just made? Have no fear! You can freeze wine, too, and use it in future recipes. Just don't try to turn the melted wine cubes into a glass of wine, these are for cooking only.
Whether it's chicken, vegetable, beef, turkey, or fish stock, make sure you always have some on hand by freezing it. Frozen stock cubes are especially helpful if you're cooking small meals that don't call for cups or quarts. Just one cube will add a homemade flavor to any dish.