10 Things to Freeze in Ice Trays

November 20, 2014

That humble plastic ice cube tray that you never give much thought to is good for more than just freezing water to chill your beverages.  Freezing foods, liquids, and even flowers is a convenient way to cook small amounts (each little square is about an ounce), and great for reusing leftovers instead of throwing them out. Here are ten things you can, and should, freeze to make life a little simpler.

1. Olive oil with chopped, fresh herbs or garlic
This is great for sauteing chicken or seafood, making sauces, or dipping bread once its thawed.

2. Wine
Use the cubes to chill sangria or other wine-based cocktails or use them in recipes that call for wine, such as bolognese or buerre blanc. Obviously you don't want to mix whites with reds, but also be mindful of mixing drier wines with sweet ones.

3. Coffee
Keep iced coffee from tasting watered down by using coffee ice cubes instead of regular ice.

4. Simple syrup 
These cubes will act as a sweetener; add them to unsweetened ice teas and beverages.

5. Fresh mint and strawberries
Freeze fresh mint and strawberries in a little water to make sparkling water even more refreshing. These are also great for lemonade.

6. Fresh-squeezed lemon juice
If you got leftover lemons, freeze the juice and use it later for recipes or to flavor water. 

7. Rose buds and petals
Freeze small rose buds and petals in water, then use the cubes in ice buckets or on a tray to chill champagne. It makes for a gorgeous presentation. 

8. Yogurt
An instant snack for the little ones. Insert small popsicle sticks to make it easier for tiny hands to hold.

9. Leftover gravies and sauces
If you make too much of a sauce or gravy, freeze the leftovers in ice cube trays, then you can thaw and reheat only as much as needed.

10. Homemade cookie dough
Instead of baking a whole batch, you can pop these out and bake just one, two, or the entire tray if you want.

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