April 19, 2012

Herb Ice Cubes

I often get asked the following three questions:

1) What is an easy way to make low-sodium broth?

2) What should I do with all my extra, fresh herbs?

3) Where did you get those killer shoes?

(ok, I am lying about number three)

But as for the first two questions, these seem to be salt-free, low-sodium challenges that perk the most anxiety, curiosity, and confusion for people. So let’s solve both issues with one ice cube tray. And then let’s go shopping for some cool new kicks.

It’s true that store bought broths and bouillons are loaded with sodium (even the low-sodium kinds). And it’s also true that making our own broth – whether by way of chicken, beef, or herb – requires some kitchen time.

But if you are short on minutes or patience, there is no need to slave away over a pot of bones.

If a recipe, let’s say for risotto, calls for broth, you can always skip the stock and use citrus juice, wine, corn cobs, or even just plain old water from your tap, gussied up with some fennel or spices..or whatever you have on hand.

So just put that idea in your pocket for a second.

Now it’s also true that fresh herbs add a huge amount of punch to low-sodium cooking. And it’s also true that herbs from the market come in unruly, large bundles that can be difficult to get through before they wilt and go bad.

But before you go composting half of that basil bouquet, turn those flavorful greens into pestos, throw them into your next batch of bread or savory beet cakes, or of course…

…turn them into ice cubes.


Ice cubes which you can use the next time you need to add liquid to your stew, pasta sauces, and risotto recipes. Or ice cubes that you stir into your next batch of salt-free bloody marys, mojitos, or cucumber coolers (as long as they are filled with mint and leftover no-salt added tomato puree).

So there you have it. A quick way to make broth. An easy solution for leftover dill, parsley, and chives. And lot’s of leftover time to lace up your sneaks.

No big deal.

Chow on.

Susan Tweeton April 19, 2012 at 1:03 pm

Great idea! I do that with cilantro and basil all the time. Many times I just wash the herbs, strip the leaves off, and lay them on paper towels to dry. Then I lay the leaves on a cookie sheet and freeze. Once frozen, I just pack the leaves in a plastic freezer bag. So easy to grab a handful and toss in sauces or soups or whatever. I agree with you. When it comes to low sodium cooking, using fresh (or fresh frozen) herbs helps a lot.

LiztheChef April 19, 2012 at 2:00 pm

Great idea, especially since I just replanted my herb garden.

Oui, Chef April 20, 2012 at 2:44 pm

Oohhh….herb ice cubes in a bloody mary = BRILLIANT!

Scott @ The Healthy Eating Guide April 30, 2012 at 10:30 am

Yum … love this idea. Where did you get those trays?

jessg23 May 1, 2012 at 1:48 pm

Garage sale!

helen silverstein May 8, 2012 at 1:33 pm

if you are also on fluid restriction, as am i, try covering herbs in small amount of olive oil. i really like the idea of freezing herbs on a tray and then simply putting them in a zip loc

jessg23 May 11, 2012 at 7:01 am

Love this idea, Helen!

Lissa July 26, 2012 at 2:23 pm

I have a large herb garden. I dry a lot of the herbs . With the basil, parsley, and cilantro I make different kinds of pesto, freeze it in ice cube trays and the pop it out. I use it to flavor pasta , rice, barley, fish, chicken, beans. Pretty much anything.

olda June 14, 2013 at 3:19 pm

Great way to get healthy meal with vitamins.

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