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Old 04-07-2014, 05:30 PM   #1
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Mason Jar Meals?

Like a lot of people, I am crazy busy during the week and the weekend is reserved for madly running around doing the chores that have been ignored earlier. For this reason, I have settled into the practice of making a 2-3 large meals on the weekend, so I can save time by not having to cook every night.

This has its advantages and I don't think I could manage without precooking but there is always some degree of waste and when you're busy... well, portion control sometimes goes out the window. I did some shot-in-the-dark Googling and stumbled on Mason Jar Meals.

Essentially, you do your cooking or food prep and then divide into the jars. According to the blog, you use smaller jars for snacks and larger jars for single or multiple person meals. Meal examples included mini-cinnamon rolls, salads, meat dishes and egg and salmon snacks. What I found most interesting was that you don't need to can it or anything else- just use the jars as containers and keep in the fridge. You can then take one to work/school and keep cool or heat as necessary.

This sounds great but what is it like in practice? Has anyone tried this? How well do meals keep, particularly the salad and fish?
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Old 04-07-2014, 06:31 PM   #2
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I can't speak to meals, but I do homemade yogurt in 4 oz. canning jars - it's perfect for portion control. I'd think the same might be true of doing meals in canning jars.

We do can things like turkey soup, ham cubes, ground beef, etc. - and those are portion-controlled also, if you make them in single or double serving sized jars.
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Old 04-07-2014, 07:37 PM   #3
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I haven't done meals in them but have stored salad greens in jars. If you have a foodsaver you can get the jar attachment. Vacuum packed lettuce lasted a good two weeks. You can build a salad in a jar but I haven't tried it.... there are plenty websites with salad suggestions.
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Old 04-07-2014, 07:40 PM   #4
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I must confess that half the reason I'm curious is because the jars look so pretty in the blogger's fridge .

I have tried to portion control in individual containers which are plastic (tupperware type stuff). The problem is that they aren't air tight and sometimes things start to smell like stale fridge or old plastic. Salad also refuses to stay fresh in my containers.

Besides, I'd like to get away from storing things in plastic.
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Old 04-07-2014, 08:18 PM   #5
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I highly recommend the glass Snap Ware. I switched out all my plastic for glass and really love it. I can bake in it, store it, and even freeze it but be sure to get the newest version with the freezeable lids. I love jars for storage because they look nice but they aren't always a convenient shape.
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Old 04-07-2014, 09:40 PM   #6
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I've used the mason jars to hold everything from ground chia seeds to salad in a jar.
When you do a salad it goes in the way you are going to dump it out on to your plate.

1. meat
2. layers of veggies
3. cheese
4. lettuce
This is so good.Amazon has pretty blue mason jars.It dumps out great too.Amazon also has the little cups that the dressing goes in. They fit mason jars.
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Old 04-09-2014, 10:24 AM   #7
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Esther: you put the wet stuff on bottom so it won't soggy up the rest, right? Sounds like a great idea
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Old 04-09-2014, 02:30 PM   #8
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I have only used Mason jars for vacuum sealing dry products and for steam canning tomatoes and making pickles, etc.

I never thought of having a meal in a jar. I have to go google that now.
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Old 04-09-2014, 02:37 PM   #9
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I am curious...if you make a salad in a mason jar, do you eat it from the jar or dump it into a bowl when you are ready to eat? I'm guessing you would dump it into a bowl....is this right?
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Old 04-09-2014, 03:01 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dottie View Post
Esther: you put the wet stuff on bottom so it won't soggy up the rest, right? Sounds like a great idea
Yes and I always put it on a plate . It comes out delish. It's my fast food..... Lots of times I put a layer of olives.

I Vacuum seal too.
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Old 04-09-2014, 04:08 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rosethorns View Post
I've used the mason jars to hold everything from ground chia seeds to salad in a jar.
When you do a salad it goes in the way you are going to dump it out on to your plate.

1. meat
2. layers of veggies
3. cheese
4. lettuce
This is so good.Amazon has pretty blue mason jars.It dumps out great too.Amazon also has the little cups that the dressing goes in. They fit mason jars.

Ahh, somehow I missed this post. I think I'll try some salads in a jar, might save some time.
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Old 04-12-2014, 12:23 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by muncheechee View Post
I highly recommend the glass Snap Ware. I switched out all my plastic for glass and really love it. I can bake in it, store it, and even freeze it but be sure to get the newest version with the freezeable lids. I love jars for storage because they look nice but they aren't always a convenient shape.
^^This is what I did. Or if I make a casserole, I'll freeze the portions and then food saver them. Quick and easy for later. I second the shape of the jars being a pain. I use some XO containers for almond flour, coconut flour etc. in the fridge and freezer.
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Old 04-12-2014, 01:20 PM   #13
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I'd like to try this 'meals in a jar' - -ill have to look into it more -and maybe get the jar attachment for my FoodSaver. I already use the old mason jars for storing things - like a 3-2-1 cake mix for when the grandkids come over {then I don't have a bunch of cake or cupcakes sitting around}, spaghetti, rice (for DBF) and of course, canning in the Fall. I've used the FoodSaver bags for leftover Zucchini parm, freeze, and boil like the 'Boil in Bags' - but it really squishes them too much.
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