I remember being a kid and purposely not using the last few ice cubes in the ice cube tray. The last one to take the last ice cube, was the one to fill it up. It wasn’t the filling it up that was tricky, it was trying to walk it back the freezer with out spilling the water everywhere! I know, I am probably dating myself, because now I don’t know anyone that uses ice cube trays. Except a few of my chef friends… and they have totally changed the way I look at those little annoying plastic trays! I can’t wait to share!
Ice cubes are no longer frozen bits of ice to me. I don’t just use them to make my room temp water cold or to soothe aches and pains. I have recently been introduced to a variety of ways that ice cube trays can transform multiple liquids (and even solids) into fun kitchen hacks! Oh, and don’t stay stuck on the plain old boring square ice cube trays.. with these ideas below you can get creative and find fun shapes and different sizes. Get ready for your mind to be blown!
Keep superfoods handy:
Freeze bone broth or any homemade stock. Perfect when called for in sauces or other recipes, instead of opening a brand new jar or carton. You can also use your broth cube when reheating things like leftover cauliflower mash or rice.
Have roasted garlic on hand at all times! Seriously, a friend told me about this. I love to add roasted garlic to my recipes, but truth is I am not always going to take the time to roast garlic. Roast a whole bunch of bulbs at once, store them in ice cube trays and you have your roasted garlic anytime you need.
Lemon juice! I am a big proponent of lemon juice. I add lemon to my warm water every morning with apple cider vinegar as well as throughout the day. Sometimes when I am in a hurry, I may end up using a drop of lemon essential oil. Once I learned about making lemon juice ice cubes, fresh lemon water is never lacking.
Coconut milk is a healthy fat that can make morning smoothies much more nutrient dense. But when you want a thicker texture using it in ice cube form is much more satisfying. Not to mention frozen coconut milk cubes can also be blended with frozen bananas or other fruit to make a delicious non-dairy ice cream! #healthyindulgence
Do you like your #healthyindulgence to be a little more decadent? Melt your favorite quality dark chocolate and blend it with some all-natural almond butter. Scoop out just enough to equal a square of chocolate and mold them into your ice cube tray for the perfect bite-sized morsel. Healthy isn’t deprivation. Make treats you can feel guilt-less about! Get Recipe!
Don’t just serve your guests plain water. Dazzle them with beautiful ice cubes. Add berries, pomegranate seeds or other pretty fruits to ice cube trays and add water to give plain or sparkling water a new fruity twist! #getfruity
Off the beaten path:
Greens are mandatory in smoothies at The 30 Clean, in fact they are mandatory throughout the day. Some people find it hard to digest raw greens like kale and spinach. To make your smoothie green without having to endure digestive difficulty, just steam your favorite greens and blend them in the food processor. Next – make them into cubes! Your morning #mandatorygreens just got easier. You are welcome!
Herb & Oil! I came upon this hack from @kitchn and now have a way to make sure my herbs do not go bad before I use them. I use a variety of different cooking fats. Check it out HERE!
Caramelized Onions? Yep another great piece of advice from a chef friend and this one was a real game changer. I save a ton of time when having dinner parties by freezing caramelized onions. I get to use the time I would stand in front of the stove to socialize with my friends. Not sure how to caramelize properly in the first place? I used this article by @Food52 to learn the way!
Pesto. Enough said. We all know what it is like to have leftover pesto but not want to eat it as leftovers every night for weeks on end. By freezing pesto into cubes you can use it to enhance sauces, soups or just have last minute pesto zucchini noodles! In fact you can freeze other leftover sauces too, including tomato sauce.
Keep your iced drinks cold, not watered down:
Iced tea and iced coffee are some of the most popular summer drinks. Don’t risk a watered down version. Make a batch of iced Green Tea or brew a fresh pot of high quality beans (we love The Westbean!) and then turn them into ice cubes. Not only do they make your iced drinks a lot richer, but you can also use them to create your own frapppacino or a frozen green tea slushy (try adding mint to both!)
The not so clean cube.
Wine. You are probably thinking, “What? Why in the world would I freeze wine?” I know.. great question. Especially considering the thought, “Who actually has leftover wine?” Well, I guess more people than you know. Or what about the wine that you open up to use for cooking, but don’t plan to drink? Leftover wine… freeze it for that very same reason. Instead of opening up a bottle next time (and risking a whole bottle going into your glass too!), just pop out a frozen wine cube and use it for your recipe. Perfect for sauces and stews. Also – some great cocktails have been made with a floater of malbec or other dry red wines.
Cookie Dough. While The 30 Clean doesn’t recommend daily dessert, we do believe that a quality homemade treat here and there is part of a healthy lifestyle! But you can save yourself the urge to eat all the cookies at once with these clean ready-to-eat cookie bites. Mold them into ice trays for easy single servings that you can pop into your mouth. Plus, out-of-sight-out-of-mind.
Do you currently use your ice cube tray for something other than water cubes? Share your favorite ice cube tray hack with us on social media! Just tag @the30clean and use #icecubehack
In peace + health,