Salad Jars: The Healthy Version of Fast Food
Walking down the aisles at the grocery store while hanging onto the healthy list in your hand, you are somehow dazzled by all the extra sugary products (that were originally a healthy option for you). Before you know it, you are home munching on an oversized bag of chips.
Even on your way to work when stopping by the coffee shop to order your usual, instead of grabbing a salad (as you promised yourself earlier), you somehow hear the muffin whispering “Eat me!”. So you end up reaching for it.
We’ve all been there! Struggling over and over to maintain a healthy lifestyle by opting for nutritious food, but in one way or another, junk food winds up being a major part of our diets.
Whether it’s 3 pm or 3 am, sugary or salty cravings kick in, take control over our minds (and stomachs), and maliciously guide us toward an unhealthy snack, or even worse, an entire meal (or weekend).
Wondering why we all share this addiction and why we are randomly hit by these desperate cravings?
Weird as it sounds, food manufacturers produce food with a specific combination of salt, sugar, and fat to create products flavorful enough to “hit the spot”. For that reason, it becomes extremely difficult, or sometimes even stressful, for our minds to part with this irresistible addictive food.
Should we just give in? Not really! It’s all about tracking down healthy alternatives that are not only finger-licking good but also nutritious.
So, what if you packed a salad in a jar? Healthy, full-of-flavor, nourishing, equally delicious, and easy-to-make, mason jar salads are a brilliant invention for grab-and-go lunches.
Can a Mason Jar Salad Help You Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle?
#1 Makes Your Life Easier
Instead of wasting a great portion of your day brainstorming what to cook, preparing the ingredients, and finally cooking your lunch, you can open the fridge, reach out for the day's salad, and enjoy a healthy lunch on the spot.
With weekly meal prep, all your 5-day lunches will be ready in advance and well preserved in mason jars!
#2 Saves Money
Let’s be honest here! We all know what happens when you forget to pack your lunch before work or are too worn out to prepare it yourself. You order in, go to a restaurant, or even ditch the salad concept altogether by opting for an unhealthy lunch.
A salad jar close at hand means fewer visits to restaurants, which also means more cash in your pocket!
#3 Maintains Cleanliness
In your kitchen, about to prepare your lunch, you spread out all the necessary ingredients on the counter. Leafy greens, a cutting board, olive oil, some cherry tomatoes rolling over, a red onion, a salad spinner, a knife, and a bowl are all thrown about – what a complete mess!
“Is there any other option?”, you might wonder. Well, technically, there is!
Would you rather hold this salad party once a week or daily? By sparing 2 hours of your weekend, you will enjoy a spotless kitchen for the rest of the week.
#4 Promotes a Healthy Lifestyle
There’s no doubt that we are constantly surrounded by mouthwatering yet unhealthy food, which poses a daunting challenge for us. Fried, buttered up, or sugar-packed, junk food often impairs our decision-making by charming us all the time.
But what better way to let go of your unhealthy habits than by offering your taste buds an equally-tempting alternative? This is where you should give mason jar salads a try!
#5 Provides You With a Variety of Options
“It gets boring”, “same meals over and over again”, or “bland and unadventurous dishes”— if you are repetitively trying to stay on the healthy track and steer clear of fast food, your mind might at some point attack you with these thoughts to drive you away from the routine.
What happens next is what will decide whether or not you will maintain a healthy lifestyle. You can either give in to your cravings and temptations and forget about being healthy or search for nutrition-packed yet equally-appetizing meals to boost your energy all week long!
Tips and Tricks for Preparing the Best Mason Jar Salad Recipes
#1 Prep in Advance
If you are a stay-at-home mom, you must already have your list of struggles: keeping up with household duties (especially the laundry, it is the never-ending story), missing out on adult interactions to stay with your kids, and of course having trouble getting enough sleep.
Although you do your best to care for yourself alongside your kids, most often than not, you wind up forgetting about lunch altogether. We know it, lunchtime is a bit chaotic!
On the other hand, if you’re working, you’d find it more convenient to grab this fresh doughnut to give you the push you need to recharge your batteries. Believe it or not, this brief burst of energy is a sugar rush. Before you know it, you will feel sluggish again!
The trick? Prepare a week-worth of lunches and pack your perfect salad in a jar!
#2 Layer Your Jar Like a Pro
The key to taking pleasure in your previously-prepped salad jar is perfecting the layering stage! If there’s one thing to note about a well-layered salad jar is that it looks like a piece of art!
“The eye eats before the mouth.”, as the saying goes. Merely glancing at your jar can get you drooling.
To start, add the dressing of your choice (like honey mustard dressing or herb vinaigrette) on the bottom. Then, add hearty vegetables (like tomatoes and radishes) on top of it. Cover the vegetables with a layer of your favorite protein (like hard-boiled eggs, nuts, tofu, or chicken). Finally, crown all the ingredients with some greens (like spinach and kale) to add a final touch of crispness.
#3 Store the Jar the Right Way
When was the last time you attempted having a pre-packed salad as your lunch at work—only to find out later that it has turned into this mushy, soggy thing? From that day on, the salad was no longer on your lunch menu.
Historically used for canning, mason jars have been recently given a new mission to accomplish: store salad. Repurposing such an old object is a great way to breathe new life into it. But what exactly is extra special about Mason jars?
Layering your salad from the heaviest and up to lighter ingredients is key to keeping your salad fresh! To keep your salad crisp and fresh for as long as 5 days, separate the ingredients into layers, tightly seal the lid, and then safely store your salad in the fridge.
#4 Shake It Up and Enjoy the Ride
Don’t worry! You are not about to eat your salad a layer at a time. The trick is in the final touch! Once you are ready to devour this delightful meal, shake your jar up!
The Bottom Line
Nothing makes the challenging mission of leading a healthy life easier and more doable than mouthwatering recipes!
When thinking of a salad recipe, let your innovative side take full control because you are only limited by your imagination here. There is always this new recipe, and you can search endless delicious salad jar combos: zucchini pasta salad, guacamole mason jar salad, kale Caesar salad, grilled chicken and spinach salad, and many more!
Every salad jar takes you on an exhilarating journey: textures complement each other, an irresistible aroma fills the space with freshness, and a delicious taste makes you go through an enjoyable experience daily.
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