Pinterest is a buzz with salad in a jar recipes (and yes it is a little bit of a gimmick) but it also is a great concept and one that does work if you follow the some simple guidelines.
Now Pinterest leads you to believe that you need to go out and spend money on Mason Jars – I’m telling you, you don’t need to use a Mason Jar for this concept to work. Any clean, seal-able glass jar will work. Heck, I used two coffee jars and a pickle jar that I had cleaned thoroughly – they are not as attractive as a Mason Jar – but I didn’t have to spend any money on them – I recycled (and I get better comfort that, then from looking at something pretty).
The second thing to note that I have done differently is that I haven’t included any meats, eggs, cheeses, pastas or rice. These are all foods that spoil quickly and easily. If I want to include these I will just take them along separately or add them to the top the day I want to use it.
The final step I didn’t follow was that I left the dressing out – I also took this in a separate container. I did this because it is suggested that the dressing goes on the bottom – I am not sure you will actually get all the dressing out, so taking it on the side means you simply add once all the salad is out of the jar.
So my reasons for breaking all the rules is – rules are meant to be broken 🙂 and Pinterest is not always correct – funny that.
This is how a real mum makes Salad in a Jar – I’m not impressing anyone – I just want a healthy lunch that I can make in advance – are we on the same page?
GUIDELINES FOR PREPARING A SALAD IN A JAR
1. Make sure your jars are clean
2. Make sure your ingredients are fresh – try and make the jars the day you purchase your vegetables.
3. Pick ingredients that you know last well. Adding a cut up avocado obviously want last more than a day – and tuna well we all know what our salad would end up tasting like.
4. Layer with the wettest ingredients on the bottom – eg. tomato, cucumbers
5. Leave the salad greens for the top
6. Only make a maximum of 5 days worth in advance
7. Use ingredients you enjoy – you are more likely to eat it.
8. Quinoa, chickpeas, couscous, kidney beans etc are all great ingredients to add to bulk up your salads, add these to the very top.
9. Leave the boiled eggs, cooked pastas, meats and salad dressing for the side – adding to the jar and leaving for five days increases the risk of food spoilage and worst case scenario food poisoning.
10. Experiment and see what works for you and your family.
MY BASIC SALAD JARS
Here are the Salad Jars I made last Sunday and took to work on Monday, Wednesday and then had with dinner on Thursday night. Salad Jars don’t have to be just for work, during the Summer it can be a great way to save time in the evening – a chopped salad at your fingertips – just add some cheese and dressing and your side dish is done.
Follow this layering order, with wettest ingredients on the bottom, followed by heavier ingredients, salad leaves, then other additions on top.
Salads in a jar last up to 5 days.