13 Brilliant Food Hacks That Involve Filling Your Ice Trays With Something Other Than Water

Ice cubes are making a comeback, everyone. We saw it happening this past summer -- odds are at some point, you or someone close to you had a bucket of ice dropped on their head to complete the Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS. And if you happened to live on a remote island where nobody around you did it, you at least saw videos of celebrities dunking each other (thanks again for existing, Chris Pratt). But as great as all the attention for ALS has been, it’s time for us to celebrate the unsung heros – not just the ice cubes that committed their duty, but the honorable ice cube trays that made them in the first place .

That’s right. Behind every successful ice cube is a tray that molded them to be who they are today. But little do we think beyond the simple ice cube to fathom all that ice cube trays are capable of. Isn’t it time that we stop thinking so narrowly and give ice cube trays the proper respect that they deserve? There are all sorts of liquids and foods that their mighty plastic shells are equipped to freeze. Scroll through and be enlightened, my friends, of just all the surprising ice cube tray hacks life has to offer.

Image: Fotolia

Save Your "Leftover" Wine

David Silverman/Getty Images News/Getty Images

I use air quotes because I’m guessing this land of “leftover” wine is somewhere just left of Narnia, but in case this ever does happen to you, now you have a game plan. You can use the cubes to add into your cooking like stews or sauces, or you can use them to make room-temperature wine cold without watering it down (although that kind of forethought when it comes to alcohol is way beyond me).

Freeze Your Day Old Coffee

This is something all coffee shops should start doing yesterday. You can save leftover coffee and freeze it to make ice cubes for the next day’s iced coffee without watering the coffee down, the same way you can do it with wine.

Organize Your Make Up

Depending on the size and shape of the ice cube tray, it might be the perfect way to keep your make up tidy. Those trays that make the curved ice cubes especially are a good place to stash eye shadows and other round make-up containers.

Image: Bustle Stock Photo

Make Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Dump in some melted chocolate, stick a strawberry in each hole, and PRESTO! You’re a gourmet chef. Take that, Godiva.

Create The World's Most Ridiculous Bath Toy

Whether you’re looking after your own kid or taking care of someone else’s, bath time can be a test of anyone’s mortal patience. But if you freeze dyed ice cubes and let the kids play with them in the tub you’ll have a relatively mess-free distraction on your side.

Image: Fotolia

Freeze Extra Pesto

I’m a baker, but I fail epically at cooking. So if I make even semi-passable real human food, I’m always sad when I have leftovers that’ll go bad before I can use them again. But if can freeze things like pesto and sauces so that they’ll stay good way longer. Take one out and throw it in a pan with some butter and then, I mean, cook something in that goodness. Anything.

Make Jell-O Shots

Why waste all that plastic making individual Jell-O shots when you can make adorable little ones in ice cube trays? We’re all friends here. Plus there are all sorts of Jell-O shot recipes you can try to shake things up.

Make Peanut Butter Cups

The first time I saw this it was on an episode of Zoom! (Bonus points at life if anybody else remembers that show). You just put in a layer of melted chocolate, then a layer of peanut butter, and then top it off with more chocolate.

Image: Fotolia

Freeze Bacon Fat

Now all your fried things can be EXTRA fried. (What, these are life hacks, not “live forever” hacks).

Image: cookbookman17/Flickr

Freeze Lemon Juice

David McNew/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Hella cheaper than buying your own lemon juice, plus you can add it to your tea or a mixed drunk for a sweet ‘n sour punch.

Make Sangria Popsicles!

Not that I’m against just sucking on an ice cube of frozen wine, I’m just way more likely to get behind something with a gratuitous amount of sugar in it. That is if I don’t polish it all off by the time it has the chance to get in the freezer.

Freeze Buttermilk

Graeme Robertson/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Once a year, you’ll get adventurous enough to bake something with buttermilk in it, and then two weeks later the buttermilk will have gone bad and you’ll (maybe) be plagued with existential guilt. But if you portion it out and freeze it, it’ll be ready for you next time and you won’t have to make another random grocery trip for something you would never otherwise buy.

Homemade Hot Chocolate

You can blend and refrigerate your own mix of chocolates into little squares that will turn into the ultimate hot cocoa when you put them in warm milk. Plus if you wrap them up festively, they’re the perfect (and cheap!) holiday gift.