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There’s nothing more boring than using your ice cube tray exclusively for making ice. Talk about #basic. These freezer trays are far more versatile than we give them credit for. With a dash of inventiveness and a handful of healthy ingredients, you can give your ice cube tray a whole new life.
Check ou these recips and be prepared to have a new favorite freezer inhabitant.
Move over PSL, these super-concentrated cubes will spice up any latté. Follow the steps to make homemade chai tea, complete with anise, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, black peppercorns, and loose-leaf black tea. (Bonus: Your home will smell heavenly!) Let the tea cool, and then pour it into an ice cube tray. To serve, add a couple cubes to warm or cold milk and sip on the spicy goodness.
No matter the temperature outside, we love our cold brew. And coffee purists know nothing messes with your brew like too much ice. Keep water from hijacking your java by making coffee cubes. Just pour a pot into your ice cube tray and freeze.
We love starting our mornings with fruit smoothies, but there have been too many times when we reach for the carton of blueberries or raspberries only to find out they’ve already gone bad. Avoid this a.m. snafu by puréeing your fruit of choice when it’s ripe and freezing it in an ice cube tray. Plus, with frozen fruit, you don’t have to add ice and water down your favorite smoothie.
Green smoothie junkies, rejoice! Kale cubes make your morning routine so much easier. Purée kale, spinach, and a little water in your blender and pour into an ice cube tray. Next time you want to whip up a smoothie, just toss in a few cubes for an extra green boost.
Have a sip of summer no matter the season with frozen watermelon cubes at the ready. Blend slices of watermelon, mold using a silicone ice cube tray, and freeze. Then add a couple cubes to your favorite summer drink—lemonade is our go-to. The more the watermelon cubes melt, the sweeter your drink will be.
Sure, bartenders talk about the importance of finding the right type of ice for your cocktail. But what if the ice added some bold flavor to your drink? Enter cocktail cubes, ranging from minty mojito to piña colada. And since these cubes don’t contain any alcohol, they’re perfect for mocktails too!
If you ever find yourself with leftover wine (as if), pour the rest of the bottle into an ice cube tray. Freezing wine keeps it from spoiling in the fridge. And in the summer, these cubes will keep your vino chilled but not watered down.
Need the perfect DIY gift heading into the holiday season? It doesn’t get any sweeter than hot chocolate cubes. Fill your ice cube tray with melted chocolate, top with marshmallows, and let harden. To serve, slip a cube into a mug of warm milk. To give, wrap each cube in wax paper, tie up with kitchen string, and voilà, you’ll instantly become the favorite friend.
Fresh herbs are not only super healthy, they make any recipe feel instantly fancier. (Why yes, there is fresh thyme in the chicken dish!) To keep fresh herbs from going to waste, chop them up and toss into an ice cube tray with a little olive oil. Next time you’re making a Top Chef-worthy dish, pop one of these cubes into the skillet for some extra flavor.
Who says ice cube trays are just for the freezer? They also can be used as a genius sushi hack. Instead of messing with a mat, simply stuff your rice, veggies, and fishy fillings into the tray. Before long, square sushi will be your specialty.
When you master a difficult cooking skill, like caramelizing the perfect onion, you want to savor it as long as possible. Rather than go through the process each time you want to whip up a dish, make a big batch and freeze individual portions in your ice cube tray. The next time you want to kill it in the kitchen, add a caramelized cube to the pan.
Once you experience homemade pesto, there really is no going back to the store-bought variety. But whipping some up every time you have a craving for Italian food can be a pain, so make a big batch of pesto and freeze it into single servings in your ice cube tray. When you’re ready to use it, melt the cube in some olive oil and use it to top pasta or spread on artisanal bread.
Take your silicone tray out of the freezer and introduce it to the oven—it’s heatproof, after all. Pack each cube with shredded potatoes mixed with a little olive oil and sea salt. Bake for 40 minutes and ta-da, it’s tot time.
We love the decadence of chocolate-covered strawberries but hate the difficult process of making them—unless, of course, a chocolate fountain is involved. Simply melt your chocolate in the microwave, pour it into the ice cube mold, and pop a strawberry (or other similarly sized fruit) into every square. Let harden and indulge.
Sometimes you just need a little something—or let’s be honest, a lot of something—sweet in your day. Skip processed peanut butter cups and make your own in your ice tray. Swap in dark chocolate and almond butter for a healthier twist.
What’s a surefire way to stop yourself from eating an entire batch of homemade cookies? Only bake one at a time. Thanks to your trusty ice cube tray, you can whip up a batch of cookie dough and freeze it into individual servings. When you’re ready for a sweet treat, pop a cookie cube (or two) into the oven and enjoy.
If you’re jonesing for fro-yo and a trip to Pinkberry is out of the question, make your own. Fill an ice cube tray with your favorite Greek yogurt—whipped varieties work best—and let freeze. Pro tip: Toss the fro-yo cubes into the blender for a few pulses to get that soft serve texture.