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!
21 Genius Ways To Use Ice Cube Trays
Do you have ice cube trays in your freezer that are not really being used. There are many genius ways to use ice cube trays at home when you like to upcycle or repurpose things.
1. Various types of herbs can be frozen in an ice cube tray to preserve for later use.
2. Make DIY cleaners for your garbage disposal.
photo by onegoodthingbyjillee.com
4. Make some frozen coffee cubes to add to iced coffee.
photo by foododelmundo.com
5. Make and freeze baby food to use in the future.
photo by helpmegrowutah.blogspot.com
6. Freeze fresh eggs so you can use them another day.
photo by bakedbyrachel.com
7. An ice cube tray is a terrific item to use for homemade peanut butter cups.
photo by creativesimplelife.com
9. Freeze fresh fruit with some juice and add a stick to make mini pops.
photo by whiskedfoodie.com
10. Freeze homemade cookie dough when you want to bake some cookies.
12. Pour your leftover wine into ice cube trays to make wine cubes.
photo by blog.pontewinery.com
13. An ice cube tray can be used as a cheap jewelry box.
14. A batch of rice krispie pops are fun to make using an ice cube tray.
photo by smartschoolhouse.com
photo by almondsandavocados.com
16. An ice cube tray is perfect to use as seed starters.
photo by mrbrownthumb.blogspot.ca
17. Do you know you can make fun shaped crayons using an ice cube tray?
18. Ice cube trays are perfect to use as storage containers.
20. Add natural elegance and medicinal properties with herbal ice cubes.
photo by chestnutherbs.com
21. Make delicious hot chocolate on a stick that’s perfect for gift-giving.
15 Ways To Use Ice Cube Trays
Just popping in with a little inspiration for you. If you follow my food prep series, you may have noticed that I often freeze yogurt with mix-ins to make one of my favorite snacks: froyo bites. The other week, I was making a batch and I started thinking about my ice cube trays and about other ways I could use them.
After a short brainstorming session, I came up with 15 ways to use ice cube trays, so I thought I’d share them with you guys!
- Coffee cubes – Freeze your leftover coffee and use in your iced coffees to keep them from getting watered-down, or add to smoothies for a caffeine boost!
- Smoothie cubes – Blend spinach or other greens with water until smooth. Freeze in trays and add to blender when making smoothies. You can also mash up ripe bananas and freeze into cubes for an easy smoothie addition.
- Yogurt bites – Add your favorite mix-ins to yogurt and freeze into cubes for a bite-sized snack. Find my favorite combo here: Frozen Yogurt Trail Mix Bars/Bites.
- Fruit cubes – Add fresh fruit and water to ice cube trays to add some color to your ice water.
- Pesto – Make a batch of pesto, spoon into trays and freeze. Store in the freezer and use in recipes when called for or to add some extra flavor to sauces, etc.
- Tomato paste – Recipes almost never call for the whole can of tomato paste. Freeze the extra in cubes to use in future recipes.
- Lemon/lime juice – Freeze the juice from fresh lemons and limes to add to blended frozen drinks or add to the pan when cooking dishes for some extra flavor!
- Cookie dough – Make a batch of cookie dough and freeze in cubes. When a cookie craving strikes, bake as many as you’d like.
- Baby food – Make your own baby food purees and stock the freezer with cubes. Simply defrost when needed.
- Chocolate cubes – Freeze melted chocolate in ice cube trays to make chocolate cubes. Add to regular milk or iced coffee for a little treat!
- Toddler meals – Place a variety of different bite-sized options in an ice cube tray for toddler meals or snacks and let them pick what they want to eat!
- Jewelry organizer – Store your earrings, rings and other jewelry in ice cube trays to avoid a messy jewelry drawer.
- Garbage disposal cleaner – Freeze vinegar and lemon pieces in ice cube trays. Every few weeks, toss a couple down the garbage disposal to freshen things up.
- Paint tray – Pour different paint colors into ice cube trays and let the kiddos go to town!
- Seedling Tray – Drill a drainage hole in the bottom of each cube, fill with dirt, and plant seeds for the garden so they can start growing indoors.
Obviously these aren’t the only ways to use ice cube trays. This list is just to get the wheels turning for you! Once you start thinking about it, I bet you’ll come up with even more fun ways to use them! I’ve also use them to make frozen treats for my dogs, freeze leftover wine for cooking, etc. The possibilities are endless! For the food-related ones, I’d recommend removing from the ice cube trays after they’re frozen and storing in a tupperware container or ziploc bag to avoid freezer burn.
The same idea applies when I freeze portions of ingredients like pesto, pizza or pasta sauce, salsa, vegetable stock or broth, etc. Many ingredients you have left over after a big cook can be chilled into individual portions and tossed in whatever you're making. For example, I regularly freeze homemade almond milk in cubes for use in my morning smoothies.
And sometimes when I don't leave enough minutes in my morning to make breakfast, I pop a few Smoothie Cubes in a cup and bring it on my morning errands. In a few hours, the drink is defrosted and ready to consume. Some smoothie cube recipes can also be used as baby food.
7 genius ways to use ice cube trays
Ice cube trays… we all have them! But did you know that they can be used as so much more than just a way to create little cubes of cold for your drink?
1. Freeze your herbs in olive oil. By placing fresh herbs in an ice cube tray filled 1/3 with olive oil, you can keep them fresh for longer. This is great if you use them regularly for cooking. Hard herbs like oregano, sage, thyme and rosemary work best for this.
2. DIY dishwasher tablets. Dishwashers are absolutely wonderful, until you have to keep buying the tablets to put in them. Those can get a bit expensive. Mix 1/2 cup vinegar, 2 cups baking soda, 1/2 cup Epsom salt, 2 cups borax and a small amount of your favourite essential oil and push the mixture in ice cube trays. Place them in a nice sunny spot to dry for over 24 hours until they’re dried nice and hard, and you’ll have them ready to pop into the dishwasher at any time. Store them in an airtight container.
3. Work on seedlings. Use the ice cube trays to seed aromatic plants and lettuces. You fill up the tray with moistened soil, and then you plant one seed per cube. When the plants are 4cm high they’re ready to transplant into a bigger pot or in the orchard… and the tray is ready for new plants.
4. Coffee ice cubes. Brew a pot of coffee and pour your brew into an ice cube tray and pop it in the freezer. No more watered-down iced coffee when you or your family choose to have it!
5. Don’t throw out leftover wine. If, for some reason, you have leftover wine, don’t throw it out because it can’t be stored away. Freeze it and use the cubes to make red wine sauce and other delicacies on a later day.
6. Make a jewellery box. You can use old ice cube trays to store jewellery. Things like earrings and rings fit perfectly into those small individual slots and this will help you to keep all of your jewellery separated and perfectly organised. You can even stack multiple trays in a dresser drawer to save even more space and to keep all of your jewellery where you can easily find it.
7. Make crayons for the grandkids. If the little ones love to colour, chances are they are running through their crayons really quick. Instead of throwing out the ones that get too small or are broken, simply peel the paper off, put them together in a silicone ice cube tray and bake for a few minutes. The crayons will melt into each other creating new crayons. If you use shaped ice cube trays you will have really fun shaped crayons for the kids.
Frozen basil should last 4 to 6 months.
When you're ready to use the frozen basil ice cubes, just remove one or two ice cubes from the freezer and add them to a recipe. Here are a few family favorites:
This cooking tip has been updated since it first appeared in 2016 with new photos and new information. I hope you enjoy the updates as much as I enjoyed working on them!
8 Ways a Simple Ice Cube Tray Can Help You Drop Pounds
That unassuming little ice cube tray that sits in your freezer isn't just for water. It can actually be an effective tool to help you lose weight. Here's how.
That unassuming little ice cube tray that sits in your freezer isn&apost just for water. It can actually be an effective tool to help you lose weight. Here&aposs how.
Cookies. Anyone who&aposs ever baked a homemade batch of cookies knows it&aposs impossible to eat just one. So the next time you craft a batch, bake half and scoop the rest into ice cube trays. Then when your sweet tooth kicks in, pop out one and bake it to satisfy your craving without breaking the calorie bank.
Juice. Freeze juice from fresh-squeezed lemons, limes, or oranges to add a touch of sweetness to water or seltzer—it&aposll be much fewer calories than a full glass of juice or soda.
Herbs. Whether you grow your own or buy them fresh at the store, stuff washed and chopped
herbs like basil, oregano, rosemary, and cilantro into each section and fill with veggie broth or water. Pop the frozen herb cubes out to add to soups, sauces, and whole grains for a flavor boost without a lot of calories.
Smoothies. Make a huge portion of your favorite smoothie recipe when fruit is overripe or on sale. Fill an ice cube tray (or two) and freeze, then pop a bunch out to easily blend in a blender for a healthy and super quick low-calorie breakfast, snack, or dessert.
Fruit. Puree fruit such as strawberries, peaches, pineapple, or mango and freeze. Pop out a cube or two and stir into plain yogurt to make your own flavored yogurt—it contains fewer calories than store-bought brands that contain added sugar. You can also add the pureed fruit to oatmeal instead of brown sugar or thaw and pour on top of pancakes instead of high-calorie maple syrup.
Veggies. Freeze pureed veggies such as peas, spinach, sweet potato, squash, and carrot to add extra fiber to soups, baked goods like these oatmeal cookies, mashed potatoes, dips, smoothies, cooked whole grains, pancake batter, and pasta dishes, or use as a sandwich spread. Eating fiber fills you up so you eat less and it also keeps you feeling full longer so you&aposre not tempted to reach for high-calorie pick-me-ups.
Quick snack maker. Each section of an ice cube tray is roughly an ounce. Use it to quickly measure out one-ounce portions of nuts or cheese, and then spoon them out into your own snack baggies to take to work or throw in your purse or gym bag.
Leftover vino. No need to polish off the last few ounces in that bottle of wine so it doesn&apost go to waste you could end up drinking an extra 100 calories or more. Freeze it instead and you can use the frozen wine cubes in recipes later.
Remember, be sure to use BPA-free ice cube trays. These Click Lock Trays made by Munchkin are meant for freezing homemade baby food, so you know they&aposre safe. Plus they have a cover that locks so you can stack a few trays without worrying about the contents spilling or getting contaminated.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups &ndash In An Ice Cube Tray
Reason number 5,789 that you really need to buy an ice cube tray.
Oh, this could be dangerous.
These addictive chocolate peanut butter cups are easy to make and way too easy to keep eating until every last one is gone.
Also Try This Vegan Chocolate Mug Cake
I’d been wanting to try out the idea for a while, and this past weekend offered the perfect excuse: a party on the other side of the city, so I needed a dessert I could easily transport that wouldn’t melt during the drive.
It was technically an Oscars party, but none of us were as interested in watching the awards as we were in having an excuse to throw a party and eat food.
Chocolate and peanut butter > Television awards shows
Making these chocolate peanut butter cups takes just a few steps:
Carefully melt chocolate chips, and pour into the bottom of your ice cube trays.
Divide the nut butter evenly above each chocolate-filled ice cube tray.
Cover with the remaining chocolate, then freeze to set the chocolate.
Once set, these ice cube tray candies can be stored in either the fridge or freezer.
Freeze Eggs for Future Use
Don’t you love it when you find a great deal on eggs? But then, you have to use those eggs before they pass their usability date. Well, not really. You can put those ice cube trays to good use by using them to freeze the eggs.
When you need them, just allow them to thaw (don’t microwave them or they’ll actually cook) and then add to your favorite recipes. You can do whole eggs or separate the yolks from the whites for when you need separated eggs in recipes.
Once they’re frozen, take them out of the trays and store in freezer bags.
Instructions and Project Credit – Bakedbyrachel
10 Genius Ways You Should Be Using Ice Cube Trays (Slideshow) - Recipes
The next time you see them at a yard sale, thrift store or even the dollar store pick a few up! Quite a few liquids and sauces can be frozen for use in cooking and household cleaning.
If you are looking for new ways to be frugal and live a frugally sustainable way of life, this is a great habit to get into. It makes you look at what your throwing out in a whole new way! I always have ziplock bags of ice cube foods lined up in my freezer, and you should consider it too!
|Store cubes in ziplock bags in your freezer for easy access!|
Here's a few of my favorites!
Garbage Disposal Cleaner Cubes
Place pieces of lemon in each ice cube slot.
Fill each slot with vinegar.
Freeze. When cubes are frozen, pop them out into a ziploc bag labeled as garbage disposal cleaner and store in freezer. To use: Place 1-2 cubes down disposal, turn on the water and run the disposal. The vinegar and lemons will clean the disposal as they whirl around.
Pumpkin & Applesauce
I love to substitute pumpkin puree or applesauce in my baking in place of the oil in a recipe to reduce the fat. Whether you make your own pumpkin or buy a can (not pumpkin pie filling,just plain ol' pumpkin!) either will be just fine! Just, fill your ice cube trays. Freeze solid, then pop out of trays and store in labeled ziplock bags in freezer. Just pull out what you need based on the measurements mentioned earlier and microwave to thaw.
Sometimes you just need a tiny bit of tomato paste to thicken up your favorite sauce or soup. A whole can, no matter how small, is still just too much. So open a small can, fill your trays (I get about 8 cubes per can) and freeze till solid, pop out into a labeled bag and store in freezer. Just pop a cube into your sauce and watch it melt right into your dinner. Also little bits of leftover spaghetti sauce from dinner is great to freeze into cubes, no more waste!
Gravy / Soup Stock
Ever find that you have just a tiny bit of left over gravy and not sure what to do with it? For heavens sake, don't throw out all that flavor! Just pop it into your trays and freeze. Store your cubes in labeled baggies in the freezer. The next time you are making soups, casseroles, or even opening a store bought soup, pop a cube or two in for great flavor! Same if you cook meat in your crockpot or oven and get a bit of broth from it.
Yogurt or pureed fruit for smoothies
My kids love smoothies. To make it easier, you can freeze vanilla yogurt, or even mashed up fruit. Hey, we all end up with that one brown banana that no one wants to eat. Just mash it and freeze it for smoothies. (mashed banana can be used as an egg substitute too!) Same with any extra fruits. then pop into the blender with your other smoothie ingredients and wala, smoothie is done!
Coffee /Chai Tea Concentrate
I do not drink coffee or tea, so have no experience with this, but my coworkers are always dumping cold coffee out at work. What if you froze it or even Chai Tea Concentrate to make your next cold coffee drink?
If you have some herbs in your fridge that are getting a bit old, consider chopping them up and putting them in the ice cube slots and then fill each slot with water. These herbed ice cubes are great to pop into homemade soups and other dishes!
Before the days of magic bullets and food processors I made my own baby food. It's a heck of a lot cheaper and with today's gadgets even faster then ever! I've seen those baby bullets and they look so cool,but I usually stored a much larger variety than the number of those cute little containers, plus you don't need to spend the money on it. Make them into ice cubes and store in labeled bags in the freezer. Then pull out what you need and thaw carefully in the microwave. You can even mix those weird blends your baby likes, such as pears and squash, etc. all in the same cube!