Mason jar meals is the not-so-new food for every day and work away. This DIY healthy take away work for your carpet picnic, excursion and on-the-go lunch. If you’re based in a field location, the mason jar meal can be a very clever way to have nutrition packed, energizing food that guarantees an escape from the dreaded sandwiches and canteen grub.
Get inspired by The GOODista’s favorite mason jar recipes from around the web for your breakfast, lunch and dinner. Say hello to non-soggy, fresh, and tasty mason jar meals!
Mason Jar Meals: The Not-So-New Way To Eat
Mason jar meals are the healthiest and easiest way to take food away for your busy day. Whether you work in an office, or on the road, these mason jar meals guarantee crunch, flavour, portion control and most of all healthy breakfasts, lunches or dinners. The idea is not new.
John Landis Mason (1832 – 1902), was an American tinsmith and the patentee of the metal screw-on lid for fruit jars that have come to be known as Mason jars. Mason’s easy and re-usable jars, with their airtight lids, made home canning popular among American settlers, homesteaders, and even in urban homes.
The use of mason jars took on a new meaning when the blogosphere went wild over Happy Heathy Life Kathy‘s vegan experiment. The mason jar salad was born and has been a craze ever since.
No wonder! The trick is in the layers. No more soggy food messes. No more sandwiches (thank goodness!) and no more sad excuses for take away food. If you haven’t tried yet – do!
Mason Jar Meals: On-The-Go Take Away Made Easy
Recipes for mason jar meals are so many, that the choice is near endless. I have included a good selection for you to get inspired by further down. Let’s look at how YOU can find a way for mason jar meals in your life.
- If you are based in a remote location choice and access is a challenge. Finding healthy food can be hard — if not near impossible. You have to beg, borrow and ‘steal’ to bring about a semi decent nutritious plate. However, with a bit of planning and inspiration you can eat better.
- Take away food isn’t always the healthiest option on earth, but what should you do if you are late home, or have a long commute? To prepare food in advance takes a bit of decision and will power. Your body (and mind) will thank you for giving it fuel to last the day, and you will reap the benefit of a healthier ‘you’ with energy left over for those things you actually like in your life. Mason jar meals can be your solution to ditch the take away, and save money and body in the process.
- Travel is often combined with stays in more of less attractive accommodation. If travel is part of your life as aircrew or business wo/man the idea of eating out, or alone in an over-designed hotel restaurant, is often a sad, lonely, and rather expensive option. The mason jar meal is a way to meet your health goals, while also enjoying a delicious carpet picnic in the company of ‘me, myself and I”.
- The outdoor excursions that start so wonderfully with a long walk along a forest path, and ends in taste trash as you sadly look at your soggy sandwiches and salad dressed sloppiness. These energy draining excuses for food are often accompanied by bags of processed crunch to make up for the lack of crunch. The result is over-exited kids (and adults!) who bounce from all the additives, followed by over tiredness and grumpy crying sessions. This is where a mason jar meal will work wonders as the layers make breakfast, lunch and dinner come out fresh, crunchy and tasty. You get balanced, healthy meals that puts taste before junk. It all in the order 🙂
- As the stressed office worker, you have more than once had your energy drained by a sandwich in front of your compute, right? Think again. Commit to a lunch time walk, and bring a long a mason jar salad. It is as easy and tasty, as it is great for energy, wellness and overall time factor.
Mason Jar Meals: How To Prepare
It all in the order of how you place the food in your jar. But – first you need to find the right mason jar. The classic jar was once used to conserve fruit and vegetables. In the modern take it is a perfect way to bring along food, or drinks. If you don’t have a jar, you can get the classic jar on-line easily.
If weight is an issue (aviation, business travel etc.) a plastic one will work too – but it must be sturdy enough not to bend or get compressed. You can of course opt for a food thermos flask, which is an extra guarantee for hot climates.
Mason Jar Meals: Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner?
Your second step is to decide what you are eating. Breakfast, lunch or dinner? Whichever mode you decide on, the main thing is about the layers. Once you get into the ‘packing order’ you will become a mason jar meal devotee, like me.
The internet is full of inspiring recipes. Scroll down for inspirational links 🙂
- Breakfast: The most common recipes involves overnight soaking of oats/chia seeds and comes in all sorts of wonderful combos. The basic idea is: Pick a jar and place fruits or (homemade) granola at the bottom, add a layer of yoghurt or overnight soaked chia/oat pudding, add another layer of granola and top with fruit. The overnight pudding preparation is as easy as pouring any type of milk (‘real’ milk, almond, soya, hemp, coconut etc) over Chia seeds and rolled oats (not instant). You can add your favourite flavourings of nut butter, honey or maple syrup. The next morning you layer up in a jar and go. 5 minutes to prepare the night before, and 5 minutes to layer your jar in the morning. Yeah!
- Lunch: Salad is the favourite choice for lunch, excursions and even carpet picnics. The layering really matters here so that you guarantee the stay-fresh and non-soggy salads (we all hate!). The layer at the very bottom of the mason jar is the dressing. Layer 2: most resistant vegetables or those that like to be ‘pickled’. The idea is that these will shield the rest of the jar from the dressing. Layer 3: Beans,and less resistant vegetables. Layer 4: Grains or pasta. Layer 5: Protein and/or cheese. Layer 6: Salad or Greens (spinach etc) Layer 7: Nuts and / or seeds. Again the internet is brimming with super tasty recipes. Scroll down and get inspired by my favourites, or check out the books that I like from Amazon.
- Dinner: The obvious choice could be a salad again, but there are so many more mason jar dinners you can prepare for an evening out or a late arrival home. For a soup or stew you can place a veg / chicken cube at the bottom of your jar, add a layer of tomatoes or other vegetables, then lentils/chickpeas or quinoa after which your add a green layer. When you are already to eat pour over hot water, add the lid again – shake and wait for 5 min. After you see that it has all dissolved, careful open the lid and enjoy! The same idea can be repeated in many different ways, but the basic idea is that you add layers as you get inspired.
To eat the mason jar meal you simply turn the jar upside down – or tip it over a plate. The dressing falls over the layers, and you’re good to go with fresh, crunchy and yummy tasty real food. Enjoy!
Mason Jar Meals: On The Road
When you’re travelling, or living in remote conditions, you sometimes have to plan well ahead for your healthy options down the line / road. This may involve packing seeds, nuts or grains and making sure to have some implements (Yes! The jar, a small chopping board etc).
Now – most of us that work away / travel this way have come up with clever solutions. Packing is part of our lives. I order my supplies to my home or ‘as-if’ home location from Amazon subscribe and save. This way I can be sure to have chia seeds, green tea etc. whenever I need to pack up and go. I pack the seeds etc in jars and bags that I can easily keep stored (drily) at my destination. The jars then become my ‘boxed’ breakfast and lunch.
On location it can be tricky to find greens, vegetables, fruit etc, but with the mason jar knowledge comes opportunity. You look at canteens, and airports in a different way, and grab / ask for when you can. The road to mason jar success is in the opportunities that you find, and as you go along, and before you realise you will have created your own concoctions and can relish delicious, healthy meals without too much effort.
Mason Jar Meals: Get Inspired and Go
Take look at the links / recipes below, that I have scoured the internet to find. There are soooo many, but these will get your inspiration and mason jar meals going. Let me know what you think 🙂
- 26 Healthy and Portable Mason Jar Meals – greatist.com
- Quick Mason Jar Breakfast Ideas – womansday.com
- Mason Jar Breakfasts – masonjarbreakfast.com
- 18 Mason Jar Salads That Make Perfect Healthy Lunches – buzzfeed.com
- Vegan Salad In a Jar. Make Ahead Bliss. healthyhappylife.com
- 20 Awesome Recipes for Mason Jar Salads – eatthisnqotthat.com
- 13 Mason Jar Meals (Don’t Leave Home Without Them) -livestrong.com
- 9 Mason Jar Recipes That AREN’T Salad – brit.co
Mason Jar Meals: Screw It!
That’s right! Screw it! On! Get into mason jar meals, and change the way you eat on the road, every day, outdoor excursion and picnic. The choice is yours, and inspiration is the key. Go forward and bring health with you as you go. Have fun, get creative and most of all – screw it! 😉
If you like inspiration to lifestyle changes you can do – every day and working away – feel free to subscribe to The GOODista (for free – of course!).
Which is your favourite mason jar meal? Comment:
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Mason jar meals are such an ingenious idea, brilliant, thanks! So much fun, so clever, truly intelligent.I remember those lonely dinners on business trips! I wish I had thought of this solution.
Sincere thanks, and it is never too late.
We just love the variety and creativity that comes with mason jar meals. Thanks for the comment, and have fun experimenting!