The most common items we waste are items we don't know how to store. Discover the virtues of the humble ice cube tray to store perishable food and help prevent food waste.
Ice cube trays have a wide array of possible uses and are especially useful for storing and freezing 'orphaned' foods such as herbs and berries, as well as juices, purees and sauces.
Our top 6 ice cube tray tips
Add flavours to your next stir fry or give your next smoothie the boost it needs, by keeping our top six list of ice cube tray food waste tips in mind.
- Leafy herbs in butter or oil
Our picks: parsley, chives, coriander, basil
Freezing herbs in unsalted butter or olive oil allows you to throw them straight into a frying pan. Frozen cubes last several months in the freezer. To make herb cubes, combine diced herbs with butter or the oil of your choice, spoon into ice cube trays and freeze.
- Cocktail cubes
Our picks: blackberries, blueberries, celery leaves, raspberries
Freezing leftover berries or fruit in ice cube trays can be a great way to add a flavour to your next cocktail. Celery leaves work well in a Bloody Mary or margarita. Throw your fruit cocktail ice cubes into a blender to jazz up your next smoothie. To make cocktail cubes, put fruit or celery leaves in an ice cube tray, top with water and freeze.
- Creamy cubes
Our picks: cream, coconut cream, buttermilk, yoghurt
It's frustrating when a recipe means you end up with leftover ingredients. Freezing creamy ingredients allows you to throw them in your next curry or mashed potato. While the texture of yoghurt changes when defrosted, frozen yoghurt cubes are perfect in smoothies. To make creamy cubes, pour cream, buttermilk or yoghurt into ice cube trays and freeze.
- Condiment cubes
Our picks: homemade sauces and pesto
Making your own condiments means you can make them healthier and low in sugar and salt than commercial versions. Unfortunately, due to the decreased salt content, they can spoil quicker. What's the solution? Freeze sauces and pesto into homemade condiment cubes to add flavour to future meals.
- Chocolate and fruit and nut combo cubes
Our picks: chocolate plus strawberry, chocolate plus peanuts
This option is the perfect way to manage portion control and use up leftover chocolate, berries and nuts. Great for kids and grown-ups alike. Just melt your chocolate, combine with fruit or nuts, pour into ice cube trays and freeze.
- Tomato paste cubes
Larger jars of tomato paste are more cost-effective. Tomato paste ice cubes provide a convenient way to store excess tomato paste and to add additional flavour to dishes and sauces. To make, transfer any leftover tomato paste to ice cube trays and freeze. Cubes will last up to three months.
Other ice cube waste warrior tips
After reading this blog post, you might be thinking about going and buying more ice cube trays. If you do go shopping, consider the flexible silicon trays as they are easier to use for a variety of food and are less likely to become brittle with regular use.
Don't forget that ice cube trays are a commonly available item at op shops and tip shops, so keep an eye out for them on your next second-hand shopping spree.