Give a mom 5 more minutes and you are a genius. Well whoever gives us tips to make life simple in the kitchen and remove the fuss from our lives is what every desi mom is looking for. Just like you, we are looking at smart ways to make life easy in the kitchen so you can snooze for an extra 5 minutes every day.
A lot of us hardly put the ice tray in our refrigerators to any good use. We give you easy solutions to get that Ice tray to work extra hard for you and these are our favourites:
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- Indian Sauces/Chutneys: Indian’s have so many different chutneys, like tamarind, coriander, fresh mint( pudina chutney) that I just prefer making it one weekend and then storing it in ice trays. This way you remove only what’s required and not the whole pot. Now here’s the thing. When you remove the whole pot each time it goes black and seems to lose it’s fresh green colour. We freeze ahead so if you decide to have an impromptu chaat party or need to make chutney sandwiches all you need to do is remove one cube each time. Once frozen you could remove the pieces and store in food grade zip locks too.
2.Ginger Garlic Paste: Every Indian household seems incomplete without this concoction and we need it for all our daily meals. Again the reason to use this make ahead hack is to ensure it stays fresh and green. earlier I would make a larger batch but realized that we threw a lot of it either because the latter goes bad or changes colour
3.Â Lemon Juice: This one is great in the summers to ensure one that you are never out of lemon juice and the trouble of squeezing it each time. You could also just keep concentrated nimbu paani mix in the ice trays so your kids can just pop it in water and a healthy nimbu paani is ready. Trust me it will definitely save you those extra 5 mins of stirring in the sugar each time and waiting till it dissolves.
4. Pesto & Pizza Sauce: This is one sauce I recommend you definitely freeze ahead because you never know when the kids have a tantrum and you need to just cookout the pasta or bread and use it as a spread. The pizza sauce goes well with nachos, tacos, pasta, pizza or even with some veggies thrown in. ( Pssst.. don’t forget to check our sneaky pizza sauce recipe & healthier pizza options).
5. Cooking Chocolate: I usually get a bar of cooking chocolate when I need to use it for myÂ child’s favourite waffles or pancake. I often find myself struggling to first thaw it then trying to break it with a pounder with chocolate strewn all over. When you use the double boiler and melt it and place it in the ice tray you end up just picking the amount you need and it melts much faster. It also works really well to pop it in a milkshake and more importantly gets the kids excited. I use it as a trick of portion control too so no kid gets more or less chocolate sauce. Just give each one of them one cube and you will save 5 minutes that would otherwise have been spent solving their fights.
6. DIY Teethers: This one was my absolute favourite when the kids were young. Instead of buying store bought teethers. I would just freeze some apple puree or your baby’s favourite fruit puree and put it in the ice tray. Each time I need to give the kids a teether I would just wrap a cube in a mal – mal cloth and twine the bottom. The kids will get the apple sauce plus it will soothe their gums. Most importantly it’s all natural.
7. Overripe Fruit Purees: If you have missed checking on the fruits or veggies and feel like it’s gonna go bad. The best thing to do is puree it and freeze in ice trays. I often do this with bananas, avocado and mango. They can all be used in smoothies the next day and it’s really the best way to get ahead of the game.
8. Fresh Herbs with Olive Oil or Butter: We don’t get Italian herbs easily in the market or get them specifically at certain stores and green grocers. I also feel like we use them for one dish and then it stays there for a while and finally makes way to the bin. What I have found really useful is chopping them finely and freezing them on olive oil. Yes, so next time you have sage, parsley, rosemary or thyme left, just freeze it for your use and it’s much easier to drop it in soups, sauces or your kid’s favourite pasta the next time around.