Mason jars have been around since the mid 1800s. They were named after the man that created and patented them, John Landis Mason. When you think of Mason jars, you probably think of one of their most common uses, which is canning fruits and vegetables. Now with the popularity of sites like Pinterest, Mason jars have exploded in popularity and are used for many different purposes.
Today, I want to mention just 5 ways that I like to use Mason jars when it comes to eating healthy. They are the perfect containers to have on hand to create healthy convenience foods and keep them right at your fingertips. They come in numerous shapes and sizes, and you can also find fun accessories to go with them!
Here’s how I like to use them:
1. Storing gluten-free flours
Many of the gluten free flours that I use are easily parishable. One of my favorites is almond flour. Nut flours can go rancid when stored in the pantry, so it’s best to keep them refrigerated. I use the large, 64 oz. sized Mason jars to store the flour in. This size ensures I have plenty of room to store several bags of almond flour. You can also do this with coconut flour, cashew flour, or any other nut-based flours.
2. Green Smoothies
Somehow, drinking a green smoothie in a Mason jar with a colorful lid and straw makes me more likely to them! So, I’m all for anything that encourages me to eat healthier. I use a variety of different sized jars to drink my smoothies. I also keep a nice assortment of lids and straws to go with those jars. You can purchase lids and straws for both wide mouth and regular jars online or at Target and Michaels. Here are some of my favorite jars and accessories for my green smoothies:
- 16 oz. Mason jars – This is the standard size Mason jar and it’s perfect for a single serving size smoothie.
- 24 oz. Mason jars – This are a bit larger but still easy to handle. They’re perfect for your larger sized smoothies.
- Mason jars with handles – Sometimes it’s fun to just have a handle!
- iLids Mason jar lids – These lids come is an assortment of fun colors. Of course, my favorite is pink 😉 You can use these with or without a straw. Any standard size straw will do, but I always enjoy using a color coordinating straw to go with my lid. Here are some really cute ones.
- Metal lid and straw set – This combo lid and straw set are so cute to have on hand for smoothies and other drinks.
Hopefully these cute Mason jar accessories will inspire you to get more healthy greens into your diet…and look stylish while you’re doing it!
3. Yogurt Parfaits
Mason jars make the perfect containers to store make-ahead yogurt parfaits. Most flavored yogurt sold in the grocery store is loaded with either artificial sweeteners or sugar. And the healthier options can often get quite expensive. That’s why making your own yogurt parfaits is healthier and cheaper. Simply choose your Mason jar size (I like the wide-mouthed, 16 oz. size), fill with unsweetened Greek yogurt (or unsweetened almond or coconut yogurt), add a few drops of liquid stevia, and your favorite toppings (some of my favorites include frozen fruit, chia seeds, gluten-free granola, bananas, slivered almonds, and ground flaxseeds). Place lid on top and store in refrigerator until ready to eat (if you make these with frozen fruit the night before, the fruit will thaw in the refrigerator overnight and create a delicious “sauce” for your parfait). I keep a drawer full of these BPA-free lids in both wide-mouthed and regular size.
4. Herbal Teas
Herbal teas are a delicious and healthy way to get more fluids into your diet. And large Mason jars make the perfect storage container to brew your favorite herbal teas. The 64 oz. size is large enough to store several days worth of tea (if you’re drinking 1 – 2 cups per day). You can also brew several different flavors for the week and label the outside of the jar. These chalkboard labels are super cute and you can simply erase and use again when finished. Here are some of my favorite tea blends:
Tulsi Raspberry Peach tea – This tea has a delicious fruity flavor and is naturally caffeine free. It also includes the herb Holy Basil, which has been used for centuries for its calming and stress-relieving properties.
Peppermint Tea – This is a delicious and refreshing tea. It’s perfect for a hot summer day or for an after dinner treat to soothe any digestion issues. It’s also caffeine-free.
Raspberry Leaf Tea – This slightly sweet tea should be in every woman’s pantry! Raspberry leaf has been used for centuries by midwives as a tonic for the female reproductive system, no matter what stage. It strengthens and tones the uterus, making it a great choice for pregnancy or during the menstrual cycle.
No matter your blend, Mason jars make the ideal storage container for healthy teas, because they can withstand high heat and cold temperatures.
You don’t have to look very far to find Mason jar salads all over the internet. Simply type “mason jar salads” in to Pinterest and you will get numerous pictures and posts on how to assemble them. The large, wide-mouthed jars are a great size to store your favorite dressing, toppings and greens. When packed tightly and sealed with a lid, the salads will keep for several days in the fridge. You can make ahead several days worth of salads and have healthy, ready-made lunches for the week. Here is the suggested order of ingredients to place into the jar:
- Dressing – oils and vinegars
- Hard veggies – carrots, peppers, cucumbers, etc.
- Soft veggies – tomatoes, avocados, corn, etc.
- Protein – chicken, cheese, beans, eggs, etc.
- Greens – spinach, romaine, kale, etc.
Place the lid on and your good to go! You can have a different salad for every day of the week.
Again, anything that gets us eating more vegetables and fruits is a good thing.
How do you like to use Mason jars? I’d love to hear your ideas!