I recently came across a friend's newsletter and she gave a few tips that I found interesting. One of them was a use for mason jars that I hadn't thought of before. Well, that got me thinking! How many other ways could I use mason jars to prep food in advance and make mealtime easier and healthier for my family. What I came up with may not be news to you but perhaps one of these ideas will excite you!
1) Veggie Prep-Take a day during the week to cut up your vegetables and put them into mason jars. Place them in your refrigerator at eye level so that you see them (and hopefully eat them) when you open the refrigerator. You can use the prepped veggies to make a quick salad, throw into a stir fry or eat raw with hummus.
2) Mason Jar Salads-I love salads with interesting ingredients but it can be a pain to put them together especially if you are running low on time. How about prepping a few salads at once and putting them in mason jars? Here are a few delicious salad recipes that may excite your taste buds! Click here for salad recipes
3) Freezing-Use the jars to freeze homemade vegetable broth, marinara sauce or soup. All three of these store-bought versions can contain a lot of added salt, sugar and fat so make a large batch and freeze it so you have it on hand to pull out whenever you need it. Unlike some plastic storage containers, mason jars can be microwaved without worrying about the plastic leaching into your food. So when you forget to pull it out in time to defrost it you can microwave it quickly to defrost it!
4) Trail Mix-Make your favorite trail mix and store it in mason jars. These can be kept on your counter where your family sees it to encourage healthy snacking!
5) Overnight Oats-These are delicious and stay good in your refrigerator for 4-5 days. When I travel and have to stay in a hotel I will often put the non-perishable ingredients in a mason jar (oats, peanut butter, vanilla, chia seeds and cinnamon) I pack non-refrigerated non-dairy milk and bananas separately. Once I get to my destination I will add the milk and bananas, shake it up and place it in the refrigerator in my hotel room. Most hotels can put a refrigerator in your room if you request it in advance. Here's a recipe I love but any overnight oat recipe will do.
Shake and Go Peanut Butter Banana Overnight Oats
½ cup rolled oats
1 tsp. chia seeds
1 tbsp. peanut butter
¼ tsp. cinnamon
⅛ tsp. vanilla
½ medium banana, chopped in small cubes
½ non-dairy milk
1)In the same order as listed above, combine ingredients in a small mason jar.
2)Shake vigorously until combined. Make sure the ingredients are well mixed.
6) Herb Planter-This is a really cute idea that you can make yourself or buy from a site like Etsy (Herb Garden). Use your fresh herbs to season your dishes and cut out the added salt, sugar and fat to your culinary masterpieces.