Julia Stephan

Community Member

What do you usually do with small amounts of leftovers? The most likely answer is that you store them in the fridge to use again later. But far too often I’ve stood in front of my fridge thinking about the mysterious jar in the back corner. What could that be? Oh yes, that was once the leftover tomato sauce that I didn’t want to throw away, but now it’s definitely headed to the trash.

So instead of storing the tomato sauce in my fridge, I started to freeze it in an ice cube tray. And soon, it wasn’t only the tomato sauce, but any type of leftover that turned my freezer into a well-stocked pantry of ready-to-go ingredients. 

It’s easy as that: Buy an ice cube tray, fill it with leftovers, and either store them directly in it or remove them from the tray once froyen and store in labelled freezer bags. Defrost whenever needed.

With this in mind, here are 8 foods that you should store in your ice cube tray:

1. Curry paste

Remember that weeknight dinner when you cooked this delicious Thai curry with homemade curry paste? And remember when you stored the leftover curry paste in the fridge but then forgot about it so you had to throw it away? Simply freeze it next time to keep it longer. 

Homemade curry paste

  • 03:11 min.

2. Milk and coffee for your next iced coffee

If you don’t already know this from our article abouticed coffee hacks then here comes the big news: Freezing coffee and/or milk is the ultimate hack to step up your iced coffee game—this way, you won’t need any additional ice cubes. Goodbye forever, watery iced coffee! 

3. Herbed olive oil

A recipe called for only two sprigs of rosemary, but now there’s a whole bunch of it in your kitchen, and you actually don’t want to use it for your next dinner. Instead of throwing it away, simply add it to your ice cube tray and freeze it in olive oil to use as infused oil in the future. This works as well with other herbs like thyme, oregano, or sage. 

4. Cookie dough for a midnight treat

It happens rarely, but you might find yourself in a situation when you’re craving only one or two cookies. 

Option A: Bake a whole batch of cookies, then eat them all—because who could resist?! 

Option B: Freeze cookie dough in advance and only bake the number of cookies you really want to eat right now. Ge-ni-us!

Chewy chocolate chip cookies

Chewy chocolate chip cookies

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5. Puréed fruits and vegetables for a lazy morning smoothie

Too lazy in the morning to wash, peel, and cut all ingredients for the smoothies that you wanted to drink more often this year? Freezing puréed fruits, vegetables, and juice solves this problem. Simply throw them in your blender and let it do the work while you’re enjoying a stress-free morning. 

Wake-up smoothie

Wake-up smoothie

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6. Small amounts of leftovers to repurpose for sauces

Whenever you cook, there will most likely be leftovers—some coconut milk or vegetable stock, the juice of the lemon half that was too much, a tablespoon of marinara sauce, or the caramelized onions that nobody wanted to eat anymore. An ice cube tray for leftovers will be your future pantry to cook a sauce straight from the freezer. 

7. Yogurt for a cool summer

This might be one of the easiest summer treats to cool down. Blend fruits of your choice, and add to your ice cube tray together with sweetened Greek yogurt. Freeze and enjoy frozen yogurt bites whenever you want!

Raspberry frozen yogurt bites

Raspberry frozen yogurt bites

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8. Pretty ice cubes

In case you were wondering if we’re still freezing normal water in ice cube trays, as one is supposed to…Yes, of course, but only these pretty ice cubes!

Pretty ice cubes

Pretty ice cubes

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Do you also get creative when it comes to freezing food? What are you storing in ice cube trays? Tell us in the comments!

More delicious ideas for you