BY CHLOE SEEGER
The fast-paced lifestyle that many people have today has created a demand for cheap, simple meal choices. Many turn to fast food, which is high-calorie with large portions. Mason jar meals can take the added stress of “what to eat?” and turn it into a fresh, modifiable opportunity.
Mason jar meals range from savory to sweet and can be assembled in many different ways.
Start with a clean, glass Mason jar. Wide-mouth jars are easier to fill and empty. An 8-ounce jar is closer to a snack portion or a small meal. The next size is a pint, or 16-ounce jar, which holds enough food for a big meal. The quart or 32-ounce jar would be the biggest meal size.
Many of these snacks or meals can be made by substituting ingredients, utilizing leftovers or even using up things in the fridge or pantry.
How to Make a Mason Jar Meal
Layer the mason jar from wet to dry so the dry ingredients stay crisp and not soggy.
- Start with dressings, vinaigrette or salsa on the bottom.
- Then layer the next wettest ingredient, like cucumbers or olives.
- Next comes the dryer elements, like cherry tomatoes or sliced turkey.
- Keep the dryer ingredients, like lettuce or croutons, on top.
Here are some delicious, healthy, and creative mason jar recipes:
- Classic Salad
- Shepherds Pie
- Traveling Noodles
- Rainbow Bean Soup
- Blueberry Maple Refrigerator Oatmeal
Jar meals are made at home but can be taken many places. Made for traveling, the jars can go from work to school. Be cautious of the things that need to remain refrigerated when taking them on the go.
Because the jar is glass, there is no need to microwave plastic. The glass jars are dishwasher safe, stackable, and not to mention inexpensive. Jars average 79 cents per 12-ounce jar from Farm and Fleet.
Benefits of Mason Jar Meals
- Since you can make the meals ahead of time and store them in the jar, there is less morning hustle with this method, which prevents last-minute drive-through trips when it is meal time.
- Portions are easier to control and manage when you are making and personalizing your own meals.
- Mason jar meals are convenient: After large, nightly meals, the leftovers can be layered in the jars, stored in the refrigerator, and reheated in the microwave or convection oven the next day.