By Fredrica Syren:
I love using mason jars for my foods-to-go, so why not also make snacks in a jar-to-go?
First, why make any food-to-go in a jar? I’m a very busy mom of three who is a business owner and has a husband who travels for work, so I must be organized to make my day-to-day work go smoothly. Also, when I’m busy, it’s easy to either forget to eat or to grab something not so healthy when running out the door. So, pre-making foods and snacks that are easily stored and organized is a great way to facilitate eating well. Making snacks in jars has been a healthy eating game changer for my family and me. Having healthful, simple, easy-to-grab snacks on hand in the fridge is a lifesaver, for sure.
If you already have tried using mason jars for packing meals, you know the magic. These containers are basically leak proof and can be heated in the microwave if needed. Because they are made from glass, there is no risk of leaching chemicals, as plastic does. The only downside is that they are a little heavy; but this doesn’t have to be a problem, especially if you use a cooler, a lunch box, or have a fridge to store them in during the day. Almost anything can be packed into a mason jar. I also use my mason jars for freezing food and food food storage in my pantry.
There are many places where you can buy mason jars individually, but typically you can buy them in a case of 12 from Target. They also can be found in grocery stores or canning supply stores. I also use recycled mason jars. They come with lids and in many different sizes. The best jars for meals on the go are pint sized and quart sized, with a wide mouth. I like the bigger ones for smoothies. Because the opening is larger, this makes them much easier to fill and easier to clean! The lids also can be cleaned and reused countless times. Using a mason jar for meals is quick, easy and environmentally friendly.
Green Smoothie—Great way to get fruits and vegetables and protein in one yummy and sweet smoothie.
- 1 cup filtered water
- 1 cup frozen mango
- 2 ripe bananas
- 1 Tbsp. chia seeds
- 1 Tbsp. hemp seeds
- Handful baby spinach
Place in blender and mix until perfectly smooth
Chia Pudding in a Jar
First, make some chia seed pudding
- Using a pint sized mason jar, spread a layer of chia pudding on the bottom.
- Next, add a mixture of fresh or frozen berries, mango pieces, kiwi or sliced bananas.
- Add another layer of chia.
- Top with more fruit!
- If you want some more texture, add a handful of chopped nuts, cacao nibs, trail mix or granola!
- Yogurt parfait—This creamy yogurt with berries and crunchy granola is one of my kids’ favorite snacks in jar:
- Bag of frozen berries
Plain yogurt (I use coconut yogurt)
Honey or agave to drizzle, optional
- Start by layering plain yogurt. Add a layer of thawed or fresh berries, and then a layer of
- Overnight oatmeal
- Celery, carrots and almond butter-Place almond (or any other nut butter) at the bottom and place celery sticks on top.
- Bell peppers or celery and carrots and hummus—Same procedure as above
- Apple slices and carob butter—Mix carob syrup or carob powder with almond butter. Place in bottom of small mason jar with sliced apples on top.
Other healthy snacks in a jar idea:
- Cottage cheese and pineapple
- Fruit salad with chopped nuts sprinkled on top
- Trail mix
- Cauliflower and broccoli with yogurt ranch dip—
Make a vegan ranch dip from this recipe or mix yogurt with powdered ranch mix. Place on the bottom of a mason jar. Wash and cut up cauliflower and broccoli into small florets, and place on top.