After so many great questions and suggestions on the comment board this month, we’ve got kitchen efficiency on our minds. Keeping a healthy Primal Kitchen running smoothly and economically isn’t hard, but some creative strategy sure makes it easier.
If you’re only freezing water in your ice cube tray, you’re missing out. Everything from herbs, to dark chocolate, to bacon fat and even wine can be frozen into flavor cubes that will change the way you cook. It’s all about more flavor, more convenience, and less waste.
Simply pour ingredients into an ice cube tray, and freeze. Once frozen, all of these flavor cubes can be stored in freezer bags for up to 3 months. Use the ice cube tray already in your freezer, or look online for new trays in a variety of sizes and shapes.
Herbs and Oil
Use up fresh herbs instead of watching them wilt by combining extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil with freshly plucked herbs. Melt frozen oil & herb cubes in a saucepan before sautéing meat or vegetables for instant herbal flavor.
Another way to freeze fresh herbs is by freezing pesto into cubes. This is a great way to preserve a bounty of fresh basil in the summer, or other types of pesto like parsley and cilantro. Instead of cooling soup with a watery ice cube, put a frozen pesto cube in your soup bowl instead.
An easy and space-efficient way to store bacon grease (or chicken fat, or tallow) is by pouring warm, liquid fat into an ice cube tray. Store the cubes of animal fat in a freezer bag and pull one out whenever you sauté something.
Ginger and Garlic
Having pureed ginger and garlic at your fingertips saves a lot of precious time when you’re trying to get dinner on the table. To make, simply puree peeled, sliced ginger or whole peeled garlic cubes with water until smooth, then freeze. Pop a frozen cube of garlic directly into a sauté pan with oil for you next stir-fry recipe, or use the cubes for marinades and sauces. Tip: Use a smaller ice cube tray, since most recipes only require a little bit of garlic or ginger.
Don’t want to open a bottle wine just to deglaze a pan? That’s where wine cubes come in handy. Frozen cubes of red or white wine can be melted in a pan with butter, or added to tomato sauce or stew. For a refreshing, low-alcohol drink, pour sparkling water over a wine cube.
Puree fresh greens (like baby spinach) with a little water to make a green slurry, then freeze into cubes that easily add extra nutrients to soups, stews, chili, smoothies and other dishes.
Puree and freeze fresh fruit (think mango or berries) and use the cubes as fruit bombs for smoothies, miniature popsicles (put a toothpick in the ice cube while it freezes), or as a colorful way to flavor sparkling water.
Use a silicon ice cube tray to freeze melted dark chocolate into tiny bars or festive shapes (like hearts). Add chopped nuts, coconut, or your favorite super-food for a healthful treat.
Never suffer through a watery glass of iced coffee again when you have coffee ice cubes on hand. These caffeine-packed cubes can also be added to smoothies.
And that’s not all… Try these ideas, too, for ingredients you use on occasion or want handy in smaller portions at a moment’s notice:
- Tomato Paste
- Chicken Stock
- Bone Broth
- Pureed Avocado
Remember, you’re limited only by your Primal-minded creativity (and how much room there is in the freezer).
Thanks for reading today, everyone. We’d love to hear how you make multiple use of your ice cube trays.