I love finding ways to use household items in new ways, and an ice cube tray is no exception. It seems like a straightforward kitchen tool, one that is all but forgotten because of how common ice makers have become. But this tool is a must for every kitchen.
It can be used for so much more than making ice cubes, like organizing, storage, freezing herbs or portioning chicken broth and other ingredients. So many possibilities! The best part? Ice cube trays are cheap, so you can pick up a few and start using them today.
Tasty Hacks for Food
Pasta Sauce: Freeze pureed vegetables, extra herbs or pesto, and add them to pasta sauce. The kids will never know!
Cookies: Perfectly portion cookie dough with an ice cube tray. Place store-bought or homemade dough into the slots, freeze, then pop the dough bites into freezer bags. When you need a treat, grab as many cookies as you want, and bake as normal.
Fruit smoothies: Purchase more of your favorite fruits when they’re in season and on sale. Then make a large batch of smoothies. Fill ice cube trays with the mixture, freeze it, then pop a few, as needed, into a blender with milk or juice to create a quick, nutritious snack.
Water: Freeze juice from fresh lemons or oranges, then add the juice cubes to water for a refreshing kick.
Chocolate-covered strawberries: Fill each slot with 2/3 cup melted chocolate, then place a washed strawberry in each. Freeze it, and presto! Chocolate-covered strawberries!
Wine: Freeze wine cubes, then use them to add to recipes that call for just a splash of wine.
Yogurt: Buy a large container of yogurt and freeze it into cubes. Toss them into your favorite smoothie recipe or blend them to make frozen yogurt.
Buttermilk & Half-and-Half: Freeze buttermilk or half-and-half in the trays if it is about to expire or you have an over abundance. Freeze and save for recipes—each cube yields about two tablespoons.
Coffee: Add leftover coffee to ice cube trays and freeze. Use them to keep iced coffee cold without watering it down.
Smart Tips for Organizing
Jewelry: Use a ice cube tray to organize jewelry. Keep earrings together by putting each pair in one slot.
Detergent molds: Make your own laundry detergent. Transfer the mixture into two ice cube trays and press until it’s hard-packed. Pop one in with each cycle.
Body scrub: Make sugar scrub with ingredients you probably already have at home (brown sugar, coconut oil, soap), and press them into cubes. When ready, just pop one out, take it into the shower and scrub away.
Crayons: Remove the paper from old, broken crayons, then place them into oven-safe silicone ice cube trays. Bake for a few minutes until melted, then let them cool. You now have fun crayons that are perfect for little hands. I make these every February with my kids. They make perfect Valentine’s Day gifts for classmates.
Painting: Use it as a paint palette. Fill each spot with a little paint and let your kids become the artist that you always knew they could be. This is a great way to keep colors separate and a little LESS messy. As if that is possible!
Tip: Only fill every other cube slot with color so they can use the spaces to mix colors and make their own color creations.
These are just a handful of unique uses for ice cube trays. Use your imagination, and if you haven’t already, check out another kitchen tool that can be used in uncommon ways—a muffin tin. Corn dog muffins anyone?