Making salad in an air tight mason jar gives you the chance to make a salad or a few salads that will keep fresh for up to 5 days and that is a great time saving idea! This a fantastic idea for anyone that wants to have a healthy lunch or dinner that you can prepare ahead of time and grab on the go the morning you need it. This is also a great idea if you are trying to lose weight or you just want to increase your servings of healthy vegetables in your daily routine.
The key to keeping this a salad crisp is to layer the salad. So below is the layering process so you can create your own great salad creations! You will need:
- 1 Mason Jar and the air tight lid
- Mixture of raw or cooked vegetables, cooked grains, cooked beans, nuts, seeds, dried or fresh fruit
- Salad Greens like mixed greens, spinach leaves, romaine leaves, cabbage leaves
- Salad dressing
Step 1 Salad Dressing
Place the salad dressing of your choosing in the bottom of your Mason jar. You can put between 1 to 4 teaspoons in the bottom of the jar.
Step 2 Hard Vegetables or Non absorbent
Place hard vegetables or non-absorbent veggies. This helps to buffer the salad dressing from the rest of the salad. Make sure to use enough to cover the dressing. Examples are carrots, cucumbers, bell peppers, broccoli, etc.
Step 3 Beans
Add your favorite beans on this level. Beans are a great source of fiber and protein. Chickpeas, black beans, white beans, kidney beans, edamame, etc.
Step 4 Grains or Pasta
Choose your favorite grain or pasta or combination. Examples are corn, brown rice, wheat pasta, or your favorite.
Step 5 Cheese or Protein*
This is an optional layer where you can add cheese or animal protein. If you are going wait a few days to eat your salad, do not put cheese or protein in this layer. Wait and put it on top of your salad greens on the day you are going to eat it.
Step 6 Soft Vegetables/Fruit
Here is where you put your soft vegetables and fruits. This can include tomatoes, olives, avocado, strawberries, orange wedges. It can also include dried fruits like raisin or cranberries, mango.
Step 7 Nuts Seeds or Lighter Grains
Nuts and seeds can add a wonderful crunch like sunflower, almonds, etc. Grains like quinoa or millet need to be closer to the top of your salad.
Step 8 Salad Greens
Here is the crowning glory your salad greens. Great options are romaine and kale because they are so hardy and will last best for multiple days. Consider spinach, spring mixes for 2-3 days.
Step 9 Cap It Off
Congratulations you make it the top. You are ready to screw on the lid and you have 5 days to eat your salad.
Here are a few hints to make your salads even more tasty.
Once you put the lid on the jar you can refrigerate it from up to 5 day. If you are going to store any of the salads for more than a day then don’t put any cheese, animal proteins, soft fruits or soft vegetables in your base salad. Instead wait until the day you are planning to eat the salad. Uncap the salad and put the extra ingredients in on top of the salad leaves and recap your mason jar.
When adding fruit or vegetables consider choosing things like small whole tomatoes, or grapes because they will last longer if they are not cut up. They give sweet bursts of flavor and you can put them in the containers and they will last all five days where cut soft fruit must be put in the day you are planning to eat it.
Consider firmer salad leaves as well. Romaine lettuce, kale, green or purple cabbage leaves will be firmer after 5 days than Swiss Chard or Boston lettuce.
When you are ready to eat your salad toss it in the jar by shaking vigorously before opening it. Then pour all the contents in a salad bowl and enjoy.
A one-pint mason jar will remarkably yield about 2 to 3 cups of salad. This will allows you to get in a really hearty side to any of lunch. It guarantees you get in more servings of fruits and vegetables. It increases your fiber intake especially if you add proteins, nuts or seeds to your salad.