Do you have a problem with ice cubes?
Come on, hands up. I know I do.
Working in one of the World’s Tiniest Kitchens, I appreciate any solution that saves space, time, money, and hassle. And living in Israel, I need – desperately! – to stay cool all summer long.
Oh, yeah, and if I can spend less than ten bucks, all the better.
Last summer, I bought these silicone freezer pop molds for my husband. Back in Toronto, he had a brand of storebought freezable juice pops that were 100% juice that he loved as a refreshing summertime treat. Here, everything is made with a ton of sugar, so I thought he could use these to make his own.
Aren’t they pretty?
(If you click the pics, you’ll be taken to the best-rated freezer pop molds I could find on Amazon – I bought mine locally.)
Weirdly, and to my great sadness, my husband didn’t take to them. So they’ve mostly sat empty and unused for the last year. But when the weather here started heating up last month, I had a flash of realization: ICE!
Ice, in cube form, is a problem for us for a few reasons:
- No space in our tiny freezer to lay a tray flat
- Stacking ice-cube trays are impossible to find in this country
- The minute we have some, it’s consumed instantly – and melts instantly in your glass
- I still maintain that the tap water here tastes funny
- Regular ice cubes don’t fit inside water bottles, which means we have to stick the bottles themselves into the freezer in the kind of futile effort to get them cold.
All of which is why the freezer pop molds are so utterly, completely perfect. Just splash in a little water from the Brita filter, pop on the lids, and set them in the freezer to chill.
The beauty of this is that you don’t need a lot of room in the freezer. Not even the smallish amount of space an ice-cube tray would take up. All you need is a little slot the size of a freezer pop; if need be, you can store these separately all over the freezer, wherever there’s room.
At first, I didn’t trust the lids. I figured the molds were so cheap that the lids probably wouldn’t hold themselves on firmly. But it seems like they really do work. I wouldn’t pack these in a lunchbox or stuff them in a purse – I doubt the lid would hold securely once the contents melt. But for stashing them in the freezer, even at a variety of creative angles, they have held up (and held on) incredibly well.
(The lids have little suckers on so you can press them firmly into the tubes – careful not to squeeze the tube too hard when you push the lid on!)
Our freezer may be small, but it’s surprisingly efficient, and within a few hours, they’re usually ready to use.
Despite my husband’s lack of enthusiasm, we have indeed used them for juice. One combination I haven’t tried yet but want to: before we left Toronto, I used the blender to make a yogurt / Nutella blend that was astonishingly good. I think it would make a great freezer pop, as would any yogurt combo.
Because they’re silicone, it’s simple to pop the ice out of the tube. I hold one in my hand for a few seconds to melt a thin layer of ice – patience, little grasshopper! – and then gently squeeze the tube from the bottom. The solid stick of ice is ready to pop into a drinking glass or straight into my brand-new insulated Klean Kanteen.
The ice from these freezer pops is just the right size for my Klean Kanteen and for my husband’s reusable Rubbermaid chug bottles. (I’ve been sold on the Klean Kanteen since I left one out OPEN on my desk in the summertime in Toronto and came back in the morning to find solid ice still floating inside!)
The ice is a little big for most of our drinking glasses, so it sticks up out of the glass until it starts to melt. No big deal. You still get a lot more surface area of ice cooling down your drink.
Writing about this made me sooooo hot and thirsty, by the way, that I had to grab a drink. Icy cold grapefruit juice, straight from the fridge, with a freezer-pop ice “stick” cooling it down right in the middle. Mmm…
I decided a while ago that 4 of these isn’t enough, by the way. The way we go through drinks in the summer, we’re going to need at least 8, so I’ve already ordered 4 more.
Sometimes, the right tool makes your life so, so much better. Especially when that tool costs less than ten dollars, and opens up a whole world of cool summertime kitchen creativity.