Healthy cooking has never been so easy.
Ever since the invention of the ice cube tray in 1933, the world has been enjoying the perks of bite-sized ice and cooler, more refreshing beverages.
But these little plastic trays have so much more potential than just freezing water into shapes. Ice cube trays can be used to preserve your food, and make meal prep and cooking healthily easier, faster, and more efficient. (We know, you just got the chills.)
Here are five clever ice cube tray hacks to help you become a whiz in the kitchen.
1. Coffee ice cubes. Hate watered down iced-coffee? Pour cooled, freshly brewed coffee into ice trays and freeze. When you’re ready to sip, just add the ice cubes into a glass and pour coffee over them.
2. Pasta sauce ice cubes. Pasta sauce always going bad before you can finish it? Put fresh marinara or pesto in ice cube trays to preserve your sauce in the freezer until you’re ready to eat it. When it’s pasta time, toss the sauce cubes in hot, cooked pasta and stir until melted.
3. Smoothie ice cubes. Love smoothies but hate the prep? Cut up fruit, blend and, add the smoothie mixture to ice trays. When you’re ready for a smoothie, just pop the frozen smoothie bites in a blender. BOOM … breakfast smoothies all week. Check out these tricks to stop turning your smoothie into a sugar bomb.
4. Flower or fruit infused ice cubes. Wow your guests with beautifully infused flower or fruit ice cubes. Fill ice tray half full with water, and add fruit such as berries, lemon, or kiwi, herbs such as basil or mint, or edible flowers (sold at specialty grocery stores).
5. Herb-infused olive oil cubes. Tired of plain old olive oil? Pour olive oil into ice trays, add garlic or rosemary, then freeze. Just toss a cube in a pan when you’re ready to cook.
Here are more helpful cooking hacks:
Ice cubes. Sparkling delights. National Museum of American History. (Accessed on August 12, 2018 at http://americanhistory.si.edu/object-project/refrigerators/ice-cubes)
Edible Flowers: A Rich Source of Phytochemicals with Antioxidant and Hypoglycemic Properties. Cosenza, Italy: Department of Pharmacy, Health and Nutritional Sciences, University of Calabria, 2016. (Accessed on August 12, 2018 at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26270801)
Make Iced Coffee with Coffee Iced Cubes. WikiHow. (Accessed on August 12, 2018 at https://www.wikihow.com/Make-Iced-Coffee-with-Coffee-Infused-Ice-Cubes)
A Consumer's Guide to Edible Flowers. Penn State Extension. (Accessed on August 12, 2018 at https://extension.psu.edu/a-consumers-guide-to-edible-flowers)