My husband has been trying to eat healthier in order to lower his blood pressure and his cholesterol. High blood pressure and high cholesterol run in the family and even at his age and despite being active, he still has them thanks to genetics. One are he was struggling with was packing healthy lunches for work. He needed “convenience” type foods that he could have made ahead of time and grab when needed. Mason jar salads seemed like the perfect option for him.
We make a week’s worth of salads on Sunday night and put them in the fridge for the week. By the end of the week the salads are still just as fresh and sometimes even tastier as the veggies on the bottom of marinated in the dressing. The key is using wide mouth quart jars and stacking your ingredients properly. These are SO simple and quick to prepare and then you have a quick, easy lunch ready for you every day of the week!
We made a variety of different salads so he wouldn’t get sick of eating them. I did a pasta salad which he said was awesome!
You can print off the recipes for each of these or pin them for later!
A few things we found in the process of making and testing these out:
- Mason jars and proper stacking of ingredients is key. Dressing on the bottom, lettuce on top! Hearty vegetables on the bottom. As they sit and marinate in the dressing they get better with time. The carrot matchsticks do best in the dressing and taste great even on day 7.
- The salads really DO stay fresh for an entire week. I was definitely skeptical but the verdict was unanimous that they stayed fresh and some even got better by the end of the week.
- If you pack your jars too tight it will be tough to shake it and eat out of the jar. Bring a bowl or plate if you plan on packing them tight so you can just dump the salad out and eat it. If you plan to eat out of the jar don’t leave too much airspace but don’t push down and pack tightly. You want to minimize air space. In order to eat out of the jar use a wide mouth mason jar to make it easier.
- If you have lettuce leftover after making your salads, put it in a mason jar. Our lettuce stays fresh so much longer in the glass jars! We always store it that way now.
- These aren’t only great for work lunches but also for busy stay at home moms. I find that I eat a lot of pizza and macaroni for lunch and having these on hand made it easy for me to eat healthy even when I didn’t have time to sit down and eat or prepare a salad for myself. They are the ultimate healthy convenience food!
- We also used pint mason jars for fruit cups. We used pineapple, grapes and apples and I added Fruit Fresh to each (find by the canning supplies) so it wouldn’t brown. The fruit stayed crisp and fresh and our apples didn’t turn brown. My husband wouldn’t take time to chop fruit and take it but when it was all prepared for him he ate it everyday!
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