Food 9 Ways Ice Cube Trays Can Help You Make Dinner Faster

17:45  11 august  2017
17:45  11 august  2017 Source:   Epicurious

Your Ice Cube Tray is Good For a Lot More Than, Well, Ice Cubes

  Your Ice Cube Tray is Good For a Lot More Than, Well, Ice Cubes <p>And it turns out that a handy ice cube tray is the ideal vessel for preserving a whole lot of other sauces, confits, and liquids (savoryandsweet) in convenient, fast-to-thaw quantities that will defrost quickly in a sauté pan (and often times, straight in your soup pot, blender, or punch bowl).</p>Coconut milk is my kitchen's biggest loiterer. Recipes will often call for just a portion of a can, which leaves me with a leftover volume that's too much to throw away yet not enough to fulfill its next destiny. So I'll unscrew another can, and the cycle will start all over again.

Check out our list of ways to use ice cube trays to make easy and delicious weeknight dinners bursting with flavor. If you 're just using ice cube trays to freeze water, you 're doing it wrong.

If you 're just using ice cube trays to freeze water, you 're doing it wrong.

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If you're a hyper-organized, meal plan–crazy parent (or just aspire to be one), you probably already know about the versatility of the ice cube tray—you might even use yours to freeze cubes of chicken stock or baby food. But those are not the only ways to use ice cube trays (besides, you know, making ice). Anything that enhances the flavor of your food—marinades, sauces, herbs, and aromatics—can be prepped ahead of time and frozen in ice cube trays so they're at the ready come weeknight dinnertime. These frozen flavor starters—think sautéed onions and vegetables, or a bright herb oil—can be huge time-savers for busy families or anyone who likes to get a jump start on the week's meals. Here are some of our favorite ways to make and use them:

Your Skincare Secret Weapon is Hiding In Your Freezer

  Your Skincare Secret Weapon is Hiding In Your Freezer Ice cubes also can do wonders for your complexion.Down South there’s nothing better than a big glass of ice topped off with some sweet tea or homemade sangria. But did you know those icy cubes also can do wonders for your complexion? Their cooling properties have a handful of skin-loving benefits from boosting circulation to energizing tired eyes.

If you 're just using ice cube trays to freeze water, you 're doing it wrong.

That unassuming little ice cube tray that sits in your freezer isn’t just for water. It can actually be an effective tool to help you lose weight. Ice cubes with a boost: Instead of adding plain ice cubes to the blender for smoothies, throw in frozen cubes made of coconut water. It’s a great way to add

  9 Ways Ice Cube Trays Can Help You Make Dinner Faster © Photo by Chelsea Kyle

1. Pesto

My coworker Anya loves making big batches of pesto and freezing them to include in a wide range of dinners: pasta, chicken, salmon, pizza, grain bowls, scrambled eggs. Pesto is incredibly versatile, and her kids love it. For perfect, individual serving–sized packaging, though, you really can't beat the ice cube tray. Having friends over for dinner and want to feed the kids a quick meal? Just defrost an individual cube for each serving of pasta, and the kids' dinner is done. Or, defrost a few of the cubes and serve them over, say, some chicken you tossed on the grill for the whole family.

2. Sofrito

Sofrito—a base of sautéed aromatics—is a classic flavor starter in Spanish, Portugese, and Latin American cuisines. To make it, cook minced onions, garlic, and bell peppers, along with fresh herbs like cilantro or thyme, in a bit of oil over medium-low heat until the vegetables soften and form a flavorful paste or sauce. Freeze this sauce in individual ice cube trays, and then toss the cubes in the slow cooker with some chicken for a totally hands-off dinner. Defrost a few cubes and toss with rice to give it a pop of herbaceous, garlicky flavor. Add it to steamed mussels. Throw in into soup. Add it to anything you want, really.

Forget Strawberries: Make Your Frosé With Watermelon

  Forget Strawberries: Make Your Frosé With Watermelon Frosé is big these days, for good reason — it’s sweet, icy, and alcoholic to boot, a perfect daytime summer drink. Most of the frosé you will find being sold about town will be made using frozen strawberries and simple syrup to sweeten the wine and create that desired slushy texture. But why not switch things up this summer? Instead of strawberries, use watermelon to create the ultimate summertime grown-up slushie. Blending frozen watermelon immediately creates a gorgeous, silky texture, and you can even serve the finished drinks in the hollowed-out watermelons (mini watermelons or large, there’s no judgment here).

Freezing vegetables, sauces, and herbs in ice cube trays is not only an eye-catching and fun presentation, but it is also a smart way to control portion sizes, if you 're watching your caloric intake. Veggie cubes are also perfect for adding concentrated pops of flavor in a dish you 're making , and

That unassuming little ice cube tray that sits in your freezer isn’t just for water. It can actually be an effective tool to help you lose weight. Ice cubes with a boost: Instead of adding plain ice cubes to the blender for smoothies, throw in frozen cubes made of coconut water. It’s a great way to add

3. Tomato Sauce

I love making big batches of my favorite tomato sauce but sometimes after a pasta meal I'm left with just a small amount of leftover sauce. Instead of tossing it, freeze it into ice cubes and use these little sauce bombs to flavor scrambled eggs, top grilled chicken breasts, add a hit of tomato flavor to soups, or make little individual English muffin pizzas.

4. Herbs in Olive Oil

  9 Ways Ice Cube Trays Can Help You Make Dinner Faster © Photo by Chelsea Kyle, Food Styling by Mindy Fox
Have some leftover herbs that are on the verge of withering in the fridge? Just chop them up, combine with olive oil, and freeze as cubes. Then just throw this instant herb oil into salad dressings, grain bowls, pastas, or any dish that would benefit from a pop of herbs (so, like, everything). You can even make little cubes that combine your two favorite herbs, like a parsley-and-mint cube that's just waiting to be added to a big batch of tabbouleh.

5. Chipotles in Adobo

Try these 4 quick and easy hacks to celebrate Chocolate Day

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That unassuming little ice cube tray that sits in your freezer isn't just for water. It can actually be an effective tool to help you lose weight. 18 Healthy Dinners That Are 5 Ingredients or Less. It's a great way to add potassium to your diet, which will help you rehydrate even more effectively.

Ice cube trays aren't just for making ice anymore. Here are four brilliant ways you can use ice cubes that you never thought of before. Looking to make dinner delicious but also ten-times easier? Who isn’t, honestly. Well, this ice cube tray hack is exactly what every home chef needs.

Chipotles in adobo add the most amazing blend of spice, smokiness, and tangy, slightly-sweet tomato flavor to a dish. They're so potent, though, that you rarely use a whole can in one recipe. Instead of letting the remaining peppers sit in the fridge until they get moldy, freeze this flavor booster in ice cube trays. Then it's there to toss into a slow-cooking batch of shredded chicken for tacos or to blend into a spicy grilled steak marinade. (It might be too hot for some kids, though, so proceed with caution when cooking for the family.)

6. Garlic and Ginger Purées

Grate aromatics like garlic and ginger until they form a paste—or toss them in the food processor to make quicker work of it. Freeze little garlic or ginger cubes for adding to any and every recipe that would benefit. Or combine them for ginger-and-garlic cubes to simmer in curries or soups. Making stir-fry tonight? That's two less ingredients to chop.

7. Vegetable Purées

Have some spinach, arugula, or kale that's on its way out the door if you don't eat it today? One lone sweet potato or cup of squash left over from dinner? Purée it up and put it in ice cube trays to toss in your kids' smoothies in the morning, or to add to your morning eggs. Defrost a veggie cube and toss with barley, farro, or quinoa to use as the base of a grain bowl. Making soup? You know what to do. You can even add the defrosted cubes to pancake batter for a savory twist on breakfast for dinner.

9 Ways Ice Cube Trays Can Help You Make Dinner Faster

  9 Ways Ice Cube Trays Can Help You Make Dinner Faster If you're a hyper-organized, meal plan–crazy parent (or just aspire to be one), you probably already know about the versatility of the ice cube tray—you might even use yours to freeze cubes of chicken stock or baby food. But those are not the only ways to use ice cube trays (besides, you know, making ice). Anything that enhances the flavor of your food—marinades, sauces, herbs, and aromatics—can be prepped ahead of time and frozen in ice cube trays so they're at the ready come weeknight dinnertime.

From food storage to jewelry organization, there are many ways that those ice cube trays will come in handy. Make A Jewelry Box. You can use old ice cube trays to store jewelry. Things like earrings and rings fit perfectly into those small individual slots and this will help you to keep all of your jewelry

Despite being old fashioned, ice cube trays are a low-cost alternative to expensive ice cube makers and bagged ice . Making ice with them is easy too, and you can get the best tasting and looking ice once you learn the right way to use them.

8. Caramelized Onions

  9 Ways Ice Cube Trays Can Help You Make Dinner Faster © Photo by Chelsea Kyle, Food Styling by Katherine Sacks
Caramelized onions are another food that's nice to make in a big batch all at once and then store in the fridge to add instant sweet, buttery, onion-y flavor to everything. But they don't last forever. Enter: the ice cube tray. Defrost a cube or two of caramelized onions at a time to pile on sandwiches or burgers, scatter across pizza, or fold into scrambled eggs.

9. Most Important: Don't Forget to Mix and Match

You know your family's favorite flavor combinations, your go-to spice combos, and your favorite weeknight meals. Make a customized ice cube that combines the ingredients and flavors you like to use in your cooking. Blend that grated ginger with some oil and cilantro and freeze. Combine garlic, basil, and tomato paste in another cube. Cut the spice of chiles in adobo by mixing them in a cube with tomato sauce. Basically anything that can be a marinade, sauce, or a sautéed aromatic base can be turned into a customized frozen flavor starter.

GALLERY: 17 Things To Make In An Ice Cube Tray That Aren't Ice [provided by Delish]

Frozen Cheesecake Bites horizontal: <p>Ice cube trays are the new <a href=muffin tins.

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17 Things To Make In An Ice Cube Tray That Aren't Ice

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