There's more to an ice cube tray than simply holding and creating ice cubes. Elevate your ice cube trays to a new level of productivity by utilizing them for other purposes—because who doesn't love a multi-tasking tool? Make ice pops for the kids, freeze herbs, create coffee cubes, and on and on. Want to learn more? Excellent—here we go!
1. Freeze Fresh Herbs
If you're fond of fresh herbs, you already know what a pleasant—and tasty!—experience it is to use them in your dishes. But you may also be aware of the challenges in keeping larger amounts of herbs fresh for a longer period of time, especially since most recipes utilize only small amounts of herbs at a time. Ice-cube tray to the rescue! Simply place coarsely chopped fresh herbs combined with olive oil into each ice-cube tray container and freeze overnight. You'll capture that fresh herb taste for use in future dishes!
2. Make Ice Pops
A simple but fun project is to make frozen ice pops. Simply pour a sweet (usually fruity!) beverage into an empty ice-cube tray and then freeze. Juices and sodas work great for this, and you can use toothpicks or Popsicle sticks for handles. Kids love to help with this type of project, and the possibilities for flavors are endless. Experiment and discover which beverages taste great when frozen and which are better off left as liquid. With care, you can mix and match different flavors on the same tray.
3. Make Gelatin Treats
In a similar vein, ice cube trays can be re-purposed into molds for miniature gelatin treats. These are great for kids and plenty of fun to make—and eat! And since they're so small, you'll probably want to have one more . . . and another . . . and another.
4. Create Coffee Cubes
If you'd like to keep your iced coffee from becoming too watery, try making frozen coffee cubes in an ice cube tray. Use your frozen coffee cubes in your morning beverage rather than ice. Very clever.
5. Save Tomato Paste
Many recipes call for just a small amount of tomato paste, leaving the rest of the container unused where it may eventually go to waste. Instead, freeze leftover tomato paste in an ice-cube tray! The small amounts are perfect for many recipes, and you'll get more storage time in the freezer.
6. Save Lemon Juice
Similarly, your handy ice cube tray can be put to use by freezing small amounts of pre-measured lemon juice. This provides a time-saving opportunity, since you can juice several lemons at once, and then preserve the juice in the freezer where it's ready to go to work in a recipe at a moment's notice.
7. Start Your Garden Indoors
If you have a couple of ice cube trays that are ready to retire from use for food, ice cube trays make handy seed-starting containers for smaller plants. Be sure to (carefully) drill a small hole in the bottom of each individual ice-cube container for drainage, and then add soil and your seeds!
What are your favorite ways to re-purpose an ice cube tray?