Mason jar salads

Use Mason jars to transport your salads and veggies.

Recipe: Lettuce, tomatoes, hearts of palm, broccoli, sweet peppers, cheese and cilantro. Photo and recipe provided by Ruth Aguilar.

Recipe: Lettuce, tomatoes, hearts of palm, broccoli, sweet peppers, cheese and cilantro. Photo and recipe provided by Ruth Aguilar.

Eating healthy means getting the most nutritional value from the meals you eat. This involves our food choices, how we preserve food and the appearance of meals. Sometimes we need to think of creative ways to transport healthy meals in a way that is convenient and efficient, but more importantly in a way that keeps food fresh to maintain all of the nutrients.

As an example, salads are tricky to transport. You worry about the dressing leaking into your bag, if it is improperly assembled, is it going to end up underdressed, soggy or have a less than fresh taste. The solution is a Mason jars. Mason jars are an easy and fun way to transport your salads and veggies everywhere without worrying about any mess and losing the freshness.

Mason jars are common around the home and can be put to great use. “Mason jar salads” are becoming very popular as a quick and easy way to carry a healthy meal. They are easy to assemble and you can keep them in the refrigerator for several days to stay fresh.

There are many ways to prepare salads and vegetables to go. To assemble a salad in a Mason jar to maintain freshness, put the dressing at the bottom, and put veggies and other salad goodies on top. These salads last for days in the refrigerator so you can often make a week’s worth of meals ahead of time.

Similar to Mason jar salads is the process of canning. Canning your vegetables and fruits is a smart way to save money, time and eat healthier foods all year long. Some benefits to canning your foods are:

  • You can buy fruits and vegetables in-season when they are cheap and stock up for Michigan’s winter months.
  • Canned and frozen fruits and vegetables have a longer shelf life compared to purchasing as fresh produce.
  • Canned products are often ready-to-eat and easy to use for meal preparation.
  • Canning in a safe way can bring you and your family many benefits.

Mason jar salads and canning your fruits and vegetables are healthy and easy for a balanced diet. If you would like to learn more about heathy lifestyles and a balanced plate, visit USDA’s My Plate. Michigan State University Extension offers various educational programs for adults, families and children that focus on lifestyle changes to promote healthy eating.

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