30 January 2007

Juice keeps longer when frozen into cubes

Ice cube trays can be a parent's best friend. From Gladys:

My baby never finished up a jar of juice in a reasonable time, so I found myself throwing out a lot of it -- and it was organic and pricey! I started freezing the juice into ice cube trays, then putting the frozen juice cubes into a freezer bag. Take one out and pop it into a sippy cup, and you've got instant diluted juice, and it's cold, too.

Works well for small bits of leftovers, cooked vegetables, sauces, and anything else you want to store in baby-sized portions.

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This also works well for fresh herbs that you can't use up or fresh grated ginger. Each cube is about a tablespoon and you can just thaw for a few minutes (or not if using in a hot dish) and add use the herbs just like fresh.

Anyone else old enough to remember the make your own juice pops from TV? You put the juice in the tray, cover with plastic wrap, slide in toothpicks and freeze. "And in a few hours...stacks of snacks!"

If your fridge has an ice maker and you need to buy some ice cube trays, choose carefully. Ice will come out of anything pretty easily. But it can get tricky once you venture into freezing other things. I think the secret is sloped sides.

I use extra juice to make popcicles. You can also add some fruit puree. For me, it's a nice way to sneak in rarely eaten but healthy fruits like blueberries and such. You can buy popcicle forms pretty much anywhere, but pay the extra for the ones that have a tray with separate molds. Tupperware has some and I've seen some others online. They're much easier to use.

This works as well for sauces, especially things like spaghetti sauce. Whether you make it from scratch or buy it buy the jar, if you freeze it into ice cube trays and then pop them out into a zip lock. I recently bought one of those new silicone muffin pans so I can freeze stuff in there. Just cook some pasta, drain it, drop a frozen sauce cube in the hot pan and add the pasta back till melted. Quick easy and no mess!!

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