A little while back I shared a photo on instagram of what I do with leftover coffee and it got such a big reaction! So today I thought I’d share some ways I reduce food waste with an ice cube tray. I’d love to hear your ideas and suggestions too!
With each of these uses, the easiest way to is to let it set in the tray, then remove and pop in a container so you can use the tray for something else. Make sure to label the container as well so you know when it’s from! I just use the trays that came with my fridge, but stainless steel trays are great if you want to invest in some extras.
This is the image that kicked this whole post off! You can either freeze any leftover coffee, or re-use coffee grounds to make a slightly weaker blend, then pop them in your ice cube tray. They make the perfect addition to a homemade iced-coffee (and I do love my iced long blacks!) and you don’t have to worry about it getting watered down. So simple, and so useful!
Now, I know that the concept of leftover wine might sound ridiculous, but it can happen! And when it does, pour it in to your ice cube tray! This works equally well for both white and red wine, and then you have small portions on hand to add to recipes as needed. I use mine for pasta sauces, risottos, cooking mushrooms – you name it. Depending on what you’ll be using them for you can let the cube defrost before popping it into your dish, but I often throw them straight in!
I make a lot of pesto at this time of year while fresh herbs are plentiful. However, I also love pesto-based dishes during the cold winter so, you guessed it, I freeze portions! When you find yourself with lots of herbs that need using (or some leftover pesto from another dish!) whip up some pesto and spoon it into your tray. It freezes nicely, and pops out easily to go into a container, and then you’re sorted for pasta sauces and the like all year round.
I drink a lot of green smoothies for breakfast, but even so I can’t always get through a big bunch of greens before they get a little wilted. The best way to avoid having to throw anything away is to blitz up the greens (kale, spinach, any combo you like!) with some water or coconut water then freeze! Then it’s super easy to get your greens in at breakfast time and it has the added bonus of providing some of the chill factor to your smoothie. It’s super important to label these when you pop them in a container though otherwise you might end up with some pesto in your morning smoothie!
At this time of year some of my herbs go crazy, so an excellent way to make sure they aren’t wasted is to freeze them in some oil. It works best for hardier herbs like rosemary and sage, but it’s super straightforward. Just pack the tray about two-thirds full with roughly chopped herbs, then top with olive oil. The oil gets infused with the herb flavour, so it makes for an excellent start to any dish you use them in. When you’re ready to use them, just melt it in the pan then get cooking! You can keep each cube with a separate type of herb, or mix things up with herbs you use together regularly. This is probably one of my absolute favourite ways to reduce food waste with an ice cube tray!