Your Scoop On The Mason Jar Meal Prep Trend
Everyone is looking for a helpful tool to help with portioning and meal prep. It’s a well-known fact that meal prep is tedious work but the end results are always favorable. It allows individuals to get the proper nutrients and portion sizes for their meal requirements without over eating. Mason jars, while they may seem like a quirky way to prep, are actually a great way to make sure you’re getting the right amount of food in each meal. Not only are they 32 ounces, but they’re clear to make it easier to see which meal you’re choosing. And they sure as heck make adorable Instagram posts (because that’s the most important thing right?)
Prepping with mason jars isn’t all about the cute Instagram posts and the colorful layers that can be combined. It’s also about making life a little easier when it comes to grab and go meals. If you’re a student or an on the go person, these dainty little meals can be your key to eating healthy with minutes to spare. And they work for any meal you choose; breakfast, lunch, dinner, and even snacks!
Pro Tip: Meal prep your week with mason jars for a colorful and delicious week of meals to help you stay on track and nourished.
Now let’s talk meals and how to best prepare them in mason jars (you know you were curious!)
When you’re layering a mason jar salad ALWAYS start with the dressing at the bottom, that way the other ingredients don’t get soggy. The next layer should be a solid vegetable like cherry tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers, or celery. This separates the other layers from the dressing (again to prevent spoiling and sogginess.) After that add in your grains such as pasta, if any. From there the meats or meat substitutes can be added in. Any fruits can be added in after that such as apples, dried fruits, or citrus (which flavors the meat/ meat substitutes nicely.) On top of the meat, the greens can be added in followed by any croutons or nuts that you desire. The finishing step is to screw on the lid and tie on a plastic fork to grab and go!
Pro Tip: Shake the jar to get the dressing spread out if you plan on eating the salad directly from the jar. If not, shake the salad and pour it into a bowl before eating.
Breakfast Jar Tips
Breakfast mason jar preps can range from chia pudding, to layered fruit salad, to fruit smoothie prep, overnight oats, and more! Try layering chia pudding with fresh fruit and nuts for a delicious breakfast “parfait” the healthier way.
Chia pudding recipe:
- 3 cups of unsweetened coconut milk, almond milk, or rice milk (unless you would like it sweeter, you can use regular vanilla of any of the three milk choices.)
- ½ a cup of chia seeds (can be purchased at any grocery store, usually in the natural foods isle.)
- 2 tablespoons of maple syrup OR 2 teaspoons of stevia
- 1 tsp of flavor if you’d like (try adding in flavors like vanilla, lavender, or orange to switch it up.)
- Combine ingredients in a bowl or plastic container and whisk briefly.
- Let sit for roughly 5 minutes before whisking again to get a smoother combination.
- Cover and refrigerate overnight before servings.
Pro Tip: This keeps for 5-6 days and is perfect to store and layer in the mason jars.
When you layer the breakfasts, make sure to put the ingredients that have liquid and more moisture at the very bottom to avoid saturated the other layers. First layer ingredients such as chia pudding, yogurt, or puree; followed by fruits and topped with nuts or dried layers (i.e. raisins, dried apples, etc.…)
Mason jars are perfect for snacks because with miniature mason jars you can perfectly portion foods like nuts, chips, etc.… But they’re best for vegetables or fruits with dips. Simply pour the dressing or dip into the bottom of the jar and stick the vegetable or fruit sticks into the dip before screwing on the lid. This way it isn’t messy and your snacks are pre-dipped deliciousness.
Pro Tip: Pre-label your jars with which meals are which and the calorie counts to help keep you accountable. Enjoy!