Sunday, July 8, 2012

Freezing Flavor

There was a 5-page spread in my most recent Vegetarian Times (July/August 2012) on tips and technique for using ice cube trays to preserve summer's flavors for use in the winter months. This is not a new idea for many of you, I'm sure, but I find it fascinating. There are so many things that you could freeze for later: soup/broth cubes, herbs, vegetable purees, juices, etc.  I have a long planter box filled with basil on my patio, and I've been concerned that I wouldn't be able to use all of it before it goes to seed. Now, with this tutorial, I can make pesto and freeze it; I can chop fresh basil and freeze it in water for that extra flavor kick that fresh basil gives to sauces and soups. It's a great concept. 

In three easy steps, they outline how to preserve your liquid contents:

1. Fill the trays or molds so that the liquid comes just under the lip of the tray, as freezing liquids expand and you'll want to avoid spillage. 

2. Cover trays with plastic wrap and freeze until solid. 

3. Transfer frozen cubes to freezer bags and label for long term storage. Frozen flavor cubes are best served within 6 months. 

Besides regular ice cube trays, the magazine recommends using silicone trays, muffin pans, or clean yogurt cups. I used baby food ice cube trays to freeze leftover smoothie from last night's dinner. When I made breakfast today, I popped a few cubes in my kids bowls of oatmeal. Instant coolant with flavor additive! Plus it was an easy way to get their serving of fruit this morning. 

Just a tip I thought I'd pass on if you hadn't already considered it. :0)

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