Simple Mason Jar Salads

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Mason-Jar-Salads

{the photo credit for the above 2 photos goes to my talented daughter, Colsie Bowman.

Didn’t she do such a great job? Click here to see more of her photography.}

I’ve seen these mason jar salads all over pinterest and instagram, and have been wanting to make them myself for quite a while now.  I love the idea of just grabbing a jar and having a healthy lunch or snack right at your fingertips.

These jars took just minutes to make. I decided to keep mine quite simple, which helped make the process super easy.  I wanted to use ingredients that all members of my family would eat, as I hoped that having some beautiful jars of goodness in our refrigerator would encourage my 3 girls to grab one and eat up their veggies.  It worked, especially on my oldest girl who is a cross-country runner and is quite motivated to get her veggies in!  She loved these so much that she asked if she could take them in her school lunch instead of a sandwich.

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I’ve seen quite elaborate salads- in- jars all over the internet, but I knew simple would work best for our family.  Most salads- in- jars put the dressing at the very bottom, then add veggies, a protein (beans or hard-boiled eggs) then the salad at the top.  Putting hearty vegetables in-between the dressing and the lettuce keeps the lettuce dry and makes them last 5-7 days in the refrigerator.  It is great for a to-go lunch or snack.

My family all have different dressings that they like, so I skipped putting the dressing in the bottom.  We ended up eating most of these at home, where we could easily grab the dressing we liked, dump the jar onto a plate, and add any other toppings at the time of eating.  Really, for my family, they were a way to present healthy food in an enticing way that would get us to grab and eat!  I think it is worth the little bit of time to put the jars together to make this happen. Sometimes when veggies just sit in their bags my girls are less likely to grab them and eat them.  Having them in such pretty jars really made a difference in the amount of vegetables we consumed that week.

I’ve written before about keeping fresh veggies cut in jars in our refrigerator.  Most weeks when I am making salad for dinner, I will cut up extra vegetables and put them into jars, again…worth the extra time for my family to see healthy foods in our refrigerator.  They will not grab a cucumber and cut it up to eat it, but they will grab a jar of sliced cucumbers and munch away.

The week I made these jars, I made sure I had hard-boiled eggs peeled and chopped, ready to go.  It is one of my families’ favorite salad toppings, and a great way to add protein.  I also had red pepper slices and cooked peas, both in a jars, which are two of my favorite salad toppings.

In my pantry, I had a large jar of croutons, a jar of dried cranberries & a jar of sunflower seeds, all of which are great salad toppings.

Jars a wonderful way to keep healthy ingredients at your fingertips, store ingredients so that they last a long time, and make the refrigerator and pantry look beautiful and organized.  I just love them!

Below is a list of salad ingredients that can be stored in jars to top your Simple Mason Jar Salad, or to make your own more elaborate Mason Jar Salads. If you are wanting to make these with the dressing and all of the ingredients layered in the jar, make sure you buy large mouth jars and layer the ingredients in the right order – Dressing, hearty vegetables (ones that can marinate in the dressing without breaking down – carrots, peppers, grape tomatoes, cucumbers), fruits, protein/carb (beans, pasta, chicken), dry toppings (seeds, croutons, dried fruit) then lettuce.

Shredded Rotisserie Chicken
Chopped Bacon
Whole-Wheat Bow-Tie Pasta
Sliced Strawberries
Blueberries
Grapes
Pineapple
Mandarin Oranges
Dried Cranberries
Avocado
Green Peppers
Cauliflower
Broccoli
Carrots
Peas
Radishes
Cucumber
Tomatoes
Shredded Cheddar Cheese
Feta Cheese
Croutons
Sunflower Seeds
Sliced Almonds

Here is how I made mine:

Simple Mason Jar Salads

 

Cucumber

Shredded Carrots

Shredded Broccoli Stalks

Baby Spinach

Lettuce Mix

*all of my ingredients (except cucumber) came prepped in bags from Trader Joes- easy!

Directions:

Add ingredients in jars in order given.  Put a lid on and store in refrigerator 5-7 days.

When ready to eat, take out, add whatever extra toppings you would like, add dressing & enjoy!

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What about you?

Do you like the idea of having these available in your refrigerator ready to grab and eat?  Do you think it would motivate you to eat more veggies?

For a very detailed article on Mason Jar Salads, click here.

Honey Ginger Lemon Tea – A Cold Reliever

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Yesterday there was a blizzard here in the Midwest.  It was super fun to be snowed in, even though it was Super Bowl Sunday. We stayed in our jammies all day, I made a big ol’ lasagna, and my Avery made some chocolate chip cookies.  It was a super slow, super chill, super fun Super Bowl Sunday!

Today my 3 girls had a snow day as the roads were still a mess and the windchill was too low to be outside and stay safe.

We decided it is the perfect day for tea, especially when my Avery girl (11 years old) came to me and said “Mom, I think I’m getting a cold.  My nose is stuffy and my throat is a little sore and has ‘stuff’ running down the back of it.”  Oh no. Not cool.  Especially when she has been home bound for 2 days already.  She will be extra bored with a 3rd day at home, especially if she is not feeling well.

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Time for a cup of good, healthy tea.

I’ve been drinking this particular tea every morning, shortly after I wake up, and before I have a cup of coffee.  It is a great way to hydrate and get all those amazing good things that lemon- in -water gives you.  The addition of honey and ginger makes the tea even more nutritious. When I drink it in the mornings, I add a pinch of cayenne.  I’ve read that it is a great way to stimulate the liver to do its detoxifying magic first thing in the morning.  Read more about that here. 

I know when I have a cold, sipping on something hot is so very soothing.  I prefer something hot & light…like chamomile tea or this honey ginger lemon tea.  The steam will warm you  right up, and the ginger & lemon will help clear sinuses, and the honey will help soothe a sore throat. My sweet Avery certainly enjoyed it
and was very thankful for her cup of tea.  Later I will make her my Sweet Tart Smoothie for even more nutrition from aronia berries.  I do not want this cold going anywhere but away!

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The lemon in the tea gives a nice dose of vitamin C & there is wonderful goodness to the essential oils that diffuse into the tea from the rind of the lemon.  The ginger, honey and lemon all have their own natural medicinal qualities so when you drink them combined, they create a calming and relaxing tea that can ease cold symptoms and boost immunity.

This cleansing tea will become a favorite , whether you have a cold or not.  Make it for your family.  You will love it and so will they.  It tastes like a lightly sweetened hot lemon drink, with just a hint of ginger flavor.  It is so very thirst quenching and soothing.

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Before we move on to the recipe, I have a great tip for having ginger on hand and how to store it. It is to keep it in the freezer.  I like to store it in mason jars in the freezer 2 ways.  One–sliced thinly for tea.  Two–in chunks in a jar ready to be grated and used in the next recipe…like Korean Beef over Rice.  Frozen ginger is easy to peel and grate, and it lasts so much longer in the freezer.

Here are 7 of the top benefits of ginger:

1. Ginger improves the absorption and assimilation of essential nutrients in the body.
2. Ginger clears the “microcirculatory channels’ of the body, including the pesky sinuses that tend to flare up from time to time.
3. If you chew on ginger, it will help with nausea and airsickness.
4. Got a tummy ache?  Eat some ginger.
5. Joints giving you trouble?  Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties that can bring relief.
6. If it is cold outside, ginger tea has warming benefits.
7. Rid throat and nose congestion by drinking ginger tea!

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Don’t you love that porcelain infuser teacup?  It was a gift and it is my fav.  Buy it here.

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On to the recipe.

 

Honey Ginger Lemon Tea

6 oz hot water

1 teaspoon raw honey

1 teaspoon thinly sliced ginger

1/2 lemon

 

~Start heating up water.  I LOVE my electric tea kettle and use it everyday.  It does a great job of heating the water quickly and keeping it warm for multiple cups of tea throughout the morning.

~Take a tea cup that has an infuser in it, and using a fork, pierce the half of lemon while holding it over the infuser and twist the fork and lemon to juice it.  Squeeze as much of the juice out of the lemon half as possible.  Cut the lemon half into 2-4 pieces.  Add them to the infuser.

~Meanwhile, take 1 teaspoon of thinly sliced ginger and put into the infuser.  (Slice using a mandolin and store in the freezer in a mason jar.)

~Last, take 1 teaspoon of honey and drizzle it over the lemon and ginger.

~Put the infuser into the cup of tea, then pour hot water over.

~Let steep 3-4 minutes.

~Lift the infuser our of the cup and enjoy your amazingly light, clean, fresh & oh- so- good for you Honey Ginger Lemon Tea!