It's all the rage right now...mason jar salads. Many websites and books give information about how to build these convenient, nutritious salads. Mason jars come in different sizes, which means you can pack a large jar full of yummy nutrition. The prep time is the bummer, but the good news is you can pack four or five jars for the week and only prep once! If you are planning to eat the salads longer than two days, pack the dressing separately, otherwise you will add the dressing in the jar. If time is crunched, store bought dresssing will do, but it you have the time, making your own will save both money and calories. If watching calories, choose a vinegarette.
Mason jars are found in discount stores, hardware and some grocery stores. Choosing a plastic, reusable lid can also be purchased rather than using the lids and rings. This can further save you money in the long run. Once you have your jars and have decided how many salads you are packing for the week, it's time to get started.
It's all about the layers. Like I said, if the salads will be eaten within two days, start with the dressing in the bottom of the jar. Use about 2 tablespoons for a quart-sized jar and about 1 tablespoon for a pint sized jar.
The next layer should contain vegetables that are more resilient to being packed like onions, green peppers, carrots, cucumbers, snap peas, or consider fruites like grapes or apples (if using apples sprinkle with lemon juice to prevent browning).
Pack some protien in over top of the resilient veggies to get some staying power from your meal. Choose protein like hard boiled eggs, chicken breasts, canned tuna or salmon, black beans or chickpeas.
The greens come next. Try to pack the greens as tight as you can to keep the resilients and protein from moving around. Skp the iceberg lettuce and choose nutritious greens like kale, spinach, or chopped romaine.
Finish off the jar by adding your favorite toppings like bacon bits, nuts, seeds, dried or fresh berries, and sprouts. Croutons may absorb moisture, so you may want to pack those in a separate container.
Enjoy your salad by shaking it up and eating from the jar, or pour onto a plate. Remember to pack a fork!
health-bite: mason jars salads packed with nutrition