This simple DIY life hack is simple to do. Mason jars are plentiful in grocery stores now, at the end of the summer/fall canning season. Or you can pick up a case of them on Amazon. Glass is non-reactive, so no chemicals can leach into your food (great especially if you’re storing foods high in acid, like tomatoes). They clean up easily in the dishwasher, and their tight lids keep smells in and air out, helping prolong the freshness of the foods you store in them. You can store them in the freezer, though be careful, as glass becomes more brittle at freezing temperatures. And it’s easy to overfill the jar and not allow enough room for liquids to expand as they freeze, which can cause the jar to crack.
But with those caveats aside, mason jars are practical, attractive… and there’s something infinitely more satisfying about unscrewing the lid of a jar of wholesome food you prepared and packed yourself… than opening a can of soup from the supermarket.
Wide-Mouth One Quart Jars are great for storing soups or leftovers. The wide mouth makes it easy to get your food in and out… and hold about two bowls full.
This size is great for single servings… easy to take with you to work for lunches.
You can buy jars with clasp lids, but we worry about the clasps popping open in transit… and believe you get a better, more reliable seal from the traditional screw-top jars.
Try these easy Mason Jar ideas:
Mason Jar Salads
Just layer in your favorite stuff… with dressing on the bottom and lettuce on the top. Mix and match these with your favorite dressings:
-chopped toasted nuts
-toasted sesame seeds
Jar DIY Instant Noodles
When fall rolls around, there’s no question: noodle soup is an appealing comfort food. Whether you like ramen, soba, Udon, rice noodles, bean noodles… there’s are many options (including gluten-free) to try. You can find fresh noodles at some grocery stores, but many types of dry noodles require only boiling water (or soup stock) to soften into a delicious and satisfying lunch.
Layer your own noodles, vegetables and protein in mason jars to take to work or keep handy in the fridge for quick dinners or snacks. These are easy to prepare ahead for the week. Just add boiling water or soup stock and let stand until the noodles soften, and you’re good to go.
Here’s a handy overview of the different types of noodles you might try. Or if you prefer, substitute cooked brown rice, quinoa, barley or other grains. http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/blog/ramen-udon-oodles-asian-noodles
Add bone broth (recipe here), miso soup or MSG-free dashi powder.