Recipes from Wendy Bazilian, DrPH, MA, RD @eatmovebe
These days, many of us have automatic icemakers built right into the fridge. That’s great! But there are so many things you can do with those old (and new!) ice cube trays to make your drinks and dining a bit more festive.
Maybe you’ve heard of freezing stock or preserving fresh herbs by combining them with olive oil and freezing them for later use? (If not, now you have and it’s an amazing way to extend their flavorful life!) Try thyme, parsley, basil, rosemary, mint, lavender, and more.
But there are so many other fun things you can do with ice cube trays. Here are 7 faves:
1. Coffee ice cubes. Brew coffee, let cool and freeze cubes to add to iced coffee. No more diluted iced java!
2. Pesto cubes. It’s easy to make a big batch of pesto (try 50/50 walnuts and pine nuts as a fun variation) with your fresh basil and olive oil. Spoon into ice cubes trays, freeze, and you can enjoy a quick and homemade pesto meal with a simple defrost while the pasta is cooking.
3. Wine! Yes siree! Are you ever tempted to add ice to your wine? (Ahem, did I just say that?) Well, this is a great way to have your go-to whites ready in ice cube form when you pour a cool glass. Tip: pour the same wine in your glass as ice cubes to keep your flavor constant. And red wine cubes are fabulous when making fruity sangria! You can also save the remainder of that partially consumed bottle—that you aren’t going to cork for another occasion—as ice cubes for cooking.
4. Chocolate dipped strawberries. Melt dark chocolate and fill about 2/3 per ice cube. Insert a freshly rinsed and dried strawberry. Once frozen, remove from the ice cube tray and then allow the strawberry to defrost a bit before savoring this sweet treat.
5. Peanut butter. Does your spoon find its way mysteriously and regularly into the peanut butter jar? You can freeze peanut butter in single portions to enjoy on its own more mindfully or use in recipes like Thai peanut sauce, stir fries and marinades, or to add into your favorite smoothies.
6. Lemon juice. Lemons are often more affordable when you buy them in a multi-pound bag, but then you end up letting some go to waste, right? Especially when the price is right, squeeze-n-freeze lemon juice into ice cubes. They are such a refreshing addition right into flat or bubbly water and can be used so many ways from blending to cooking in recipes. Limes, oranges, and grapefruits work great, too!
7. Blueberry ice cubes. Get one of those cute trays that make circular ice balls and freeze 1-2 blueberries per cube in plain water. The berry cubes make a pretty addition to add to glasses and pitchers of water. Tip: Using distilled water will freeze clearer so you can really see the blueberries.
Bonus for your body:
✓ Designate an ice cube tray for ‘non-food’, and add a pea-size amount of eye cream in each cube to use in the morning for cool moisturizing to reduce puffiness. Double duty: anti-puff while moisturizing!
✓ You can also freeze 100% aloe vera gel in cubes for instant cooling for mild burns and sunburn relief, too.
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