5 Ways to Use an Ice Tray An ice tray is obviously used to make ice, but it’s also a handy tool for a variety of other uses, particularly when you choose to get the silicone ice cube trays that are easy to bend. In the tradition of popular “life hacks” found across the internet, here are a few fun ways to use your ice trays for activities that don’t involve watching water harden into ice.
Preserve Fresh Herbs for Use at a Later Date When you buy herbs like oregano or thyme, those herbs don’t last that long if you buy them fresh. However, it’s often difficult to buy just enough herbs for a single meal. You always have a few left over that will invariably go bad before you get a chance to use them. You can freeze herbs on a layer of ice from an ice bag for use at a later date in ice cube trays. Simply fill each ice cube vessel with a mixture of herbs and olive oil (you’ll want twice as many herbs as olive oil, so a ratio of 2:1 in the tray). Like vegetables, herbs freeze very well, and you’ll have convenient blocks of olive oil and herbs to use in a future recipe – whenever you want! In addition to oregano and thyme, other herbs that work well include sage and rosemary.
Create Ice Cubes Made of Coffee for Future Iced Coffee Drinks What’s the worst part about iced coffee? It’s the watered-down cup that results when you fill the cup with blocks of ice and coffee (especially if you put hot coffee in your cup and expect the ice to cool it down). While you may choose to use those fake ice cubes you place in the freezer before using, you can skip the cleaning and storage of those fake ice cubes by making ice cubes out of coffee. When the coffee ice cubes melt in your iced coffee, they won’t water down your coffee. The best part of coffee ice cubes is that they’re as easy to make as a pot of coffee. Just make an extra pot of coffee one morning and fill a few ice cube trays with the coffee to freeze overnight. The ice cube trays made of silicone work well for this purpose.
Freeze Homemade Baby Food So It Doesn’t Spoil Making homemade baby food is an excellent way to feed your baby food without any preservatives in it. If you use organic food, you can even create food for your baby that is free of pesticides. However, if you’re like many parents, finding the extra time to make baby food in addition to the adult food you feed your family can become a huge time sink. Make the process more efficient by freezing cubes of baby food in ice cube trays. You can thaw the food out each morning before you use it (or you can take a few cubes out of the freezer and put it in the refrigerator overnight to soften). With this method, you can spend one afternoon making a ton of baby food and then enjoy the ease of having the food on hand via the freezer.
Make Your Smoothies Thick and Creamy It’s common to use ice bags to make a cold, frosty smoothie, but when you blend the ice into the smoothie, the results can prove to be a little watery once your smoothie has been poured into a cup. A better method to create a cold and refreshing smoothie is to freeze one of the components into ice cubes for use in the smoothie the next day. For example, if you mix orange juice in your smoothie, create some orange juice ice cubes and then put those cubes into your blender the next day instead of adding regular ice cubes. The orange juice will ensure your smoothie is cold, and you won’t have to deal with the watery results of a melted smoothie.
Create Even Portions for Any Type of Food Sometimes it’s tough to create cookies that are all around the same size, but you can make sure you’re making a dozen identical cookies by measuring them out in an ice cube tray before you bake the dough. The process is also an excellent way to create a good shape that will bake well in the oven. The small towers of cookie dough that you create will slowly flatten out into traditional cookie circles when you place them on the baking sheet and slide them into the oven. Another perk of having identical portions is that each cookie will cook evenly and should be done at the same time.
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