Everyone says they want to eat healthier, but when it comes down to it at mealtime, it seems easier to stick with the old and familiar routines, rather than trying something new.  However, with just a little prep work, I’ve found that dinners become easier, quicker, and healthier.  And because of that, the ice cube tray has quickly become one of my most reliable partners in the kitchen, as it helps me save money on groceries, and make slightly healthier meals for my family!

Box mac & cheese is a staple at my house.  Although it is not the healthiest choice, it is an easy meal that guarantees empty plates and full tummies.  To make it healthier, I add previously cooked squash that has been mashed, spread onto ice cube trays, and frozen.  The recipe is so simple, you’ll be anxious to try it for your next dinner.


Squash: Preparation for Freezing

What you need:

  • 1 squash (I use butternut squash)
  • 1 or 2 ice cube trays, depending on quantity
  • 1 deep dish pan
  • 1 cup water

What you do:

  1. Puncture squash several times with a knife
  2. Lay whole squash in pan with approximately ¾ inch of water
  3. Bake in the oven at 375 degrees, until tender
  4. Cut in half, scoop out seeds, and peel the squash
  5. Mash the squash and spread it into ice cube trays
  6. Freeze for 4 hours and transfer to a freezer bag

Mac & Cheese With Squash

What you need:

  • 1 box of your favorite Mac & Cheese
  • 2 prepared cubes of frozen squash

What you do:

  1. Boil the noodles, until tender
  2. Drain water and add 2 cubes of frozen squash
  3. Stir in cheese mix and serve

 

Other Food Suggestions for Freezing:

Leftover pasta sauce: pour into trays, freeze, and transfer into freezer bags

What you do:

  • Add 2 cubes to a cup of cooked pasta for a quick, hot lunch
  • Melt 1 cube and spread on bagel (slice of bread or English muffin), top with favorite pizza toppings and bake for 15 minutes

Left over can of pumpkin: pour into trays, freeze, and transfer into freezer bags

What you do:

  • Mix 2 melted cubes with pancake batter

Zucchini & Carrots: Blend, pour into trays, freeze, and transfer into freezer bags.

What you do:

  • Blend 1 cube into a smoothie
  • Melt 2 cubes and mix into pancake batter, muffins, or breads
  • Melt 2 cubes into homemade soups

Fresh Herbs (chives, parsley, basil, etc.): Chop up, mix with chicken broth or water, pour into trays, freeze, and transfer into freezer bags.

What you do:

  • Melt 1 cube into 1 cup of Stove Top rice
  • Melt 2 cubes into homemade soups

Spinach: Steam, blend, pour into trays, freeze, and transfer into freezer bags.

What you do:

  • Blend 1 cube into smoothie
  • Melt 2 cubes into pasta sauce
  • Add 1 cube when baking