Non-Traditional Uses for Ice Cube Trays

This article, entitled I’m Excited About….Ice Cube Trays!, comes from partner site 719woman.com.

If you’ve read any of our posts on freezing tips, you know I love to freeze herbs, wine and even tomato paste in ice-cube trays.

Today’s topic? Ice cube trays and nontraditional ways to use them. You can get a pair of ice-cube trays from any store, the Dollar tree sells them for $1.00, or even find them at thrift stores.

  • Treats for Tots - Ice cube trays make an excellent mold for Jell-O cubes. You can make several different flavors and they make a fun “finger food” that kids will love. Use sugar-free Jell-O if you’re cutting down on sugar.

  • Egg Whites in a Hurry - Want to save time on your morning routine and still maintain your diet? On the weekend, crack some eggs and pour the whites into an ice-cube tray. When frozen, pop them into a freezer-proof container. yu can grab egg whites out of the freezer without having to crack a single egg…a great time-saver for your weekday morning rush. And an excellent way to use up any eggs about to expire.

  • Pair Up! – Keep an ice-cube tray (or two) in your top drawer (or anyplace) to store earrings together. The trays can hold a dozen pairs and they stack nicely. Then you don’t have to search for a missing earring when getting ready. You could also use this for storing nails, screws, or picture hooks.

  • Real Fruit Snacks – For a delicious, healthy snack: Fill an ice-cube tray with spring water and drop one seedless grape into each cube. Frozen grapes are low-fat and taste great. You can also freeze summer berries this way, and if you don’t want to eat them individually, fill several trays and then store the berries in freezer bags. You can make a smoothie whenever you have the urge to snack.

  • Tomato Paste – I have personally used this example many times now! A lot of recipes call for only 1 or 2 tablespoons of tomato paste but it’s cheaper when you buy a can, versus the tube (where you can squeeze out the amount you need, cap it, and fridge it). Freeze the extra tomato paste in ice-cube trays and then transfer to plastic bags and store in your freezer for future use.

  • Metal Ice Cube Trays - If you have an old metal ice-cube tray (or see one at a garage sale or thrift store), you can remove the divider from the tray and insert it into brownie dough before baking. You can bake with the divider in place, and when the brownies are done and cooled, pull it right out. You will have precut brownies, and each piece will have a delicious, crispy edge.

  • Practical Jokes - To liven up a party (or make the kids laugh), fill an ice-cube tray with water, and allow it to come close to freezing. Then place a Mentos candy into the middle of each cube and allow for a complete freeze. Serve these ice cubes to a (good-natured) friend in a glass of cola. As the ice melts and the candy becomes exposed, the drink will suddenly foam over for no apparent reason! You might want to try this outdoors?

  • Improve Canine Table Manners - If you have a toy breed of dog that eats so fast that indigestion is a problem, an ice-cube tray can be a dog’s best friend. Simply distribute your pet’s normal portion of food between the empty cube holders. Your pooch will have to slow down to get at the food. It will take them longer to finish the meal and this will aid in digestion…Now I’ve never owned a toy breed of dog so I have no idea how fast they might eat or if this works? Just as with any food serving dishes you use for a pet, make sure you clean it on a regular basis.

  • Start Your Garden – Next season, put some soil in each compartment of the tray, plant seeds, and get your plants started early with indoor sprouting.

  • Freeze Baby Food - Any mom who has ever struggled to make homemade foods for her baby will know the value of this tip: Once you have gently steamed and carefully pureed that butternut squash (or any veggies you would make this way), portion it out into ice-cube trays and freeze. After it’s frozen, pop the cubes into a ziplock plastic bag for storage. Not only does it make all your hard work go further, but the trays make the ideal portion size for baby’s dinner.

  • Make Flavored Ice Cubes – Tired of your cold drink getting diluted by melting ice? Make a tray of ice cubes out of whatever your drinking, be it tea, lemonade, iced coffee…anything that’s not fizzy.

Once I start thinking about an idea, I can drive myself (and my husband) crazy! I think it would be fun to serve healthy snacks like fruits, mini pretzels, Goldfish crackers, etc., and maybe a small compartment of a special treat like M&M’s to kids while watching a movie or for taking outside at snack time…just something different.

If you have any clever ideas for other ice-cube tray uses, we’d love to share them!



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