Mason Jar salads seem to be all the rage lately. I’ve been thinking about trying them for awhile now, but I just wasn’t sure I wanted to invest the time and energy into it. I was also hesitant to spend money on jars when I have plenty of other containers already.
My issue with salads is that I couldn’t keep my lettuce fresh. I admit that I am lazy and do not cut it up myself. I prefer to think of it as prioritizing other things rather than being lazy. 😉 Regardless, within days of the bag being opened, the lettuce looked gross! My husband doesn’t eat much salad, so I never seemed to get through a bag before it would go to waste. After a friend of mine told me she tried the mason jar thing and that it kept the lettuce fresh, I finally decided to just go for it!
I used the quart size (32oz) wide mouth jars. I found mine at Wal-Mart, but I’ve also seen them at Target, Giant Eagle, and Acme! I guess this is canning season, so that might be why they are everywhere right now. If you can’t find them locally, Amazon has a huge selection. Click here to see the jars that I am using. I found it difficult to get some of the toppings in without spilling them, even with the wide mouth jar. I can’t imagine trying to fill a standard size jar, so I highly recommend a wide mouth jar for salads! You can also buy a collapsible funnel to make filling easier if you prefer.
I spent HOURS reading about different options and variations on Pinterest and other blogs. The possibilities are endless, but the one thing I heard over and over was how important it is to put the ingredients in the jar in a specific order. You want to keep the moisture away from your lettuce to help it stay fresh as long as possible. Regardless of what type of salad you make, you’ll want to follow the same basic order of assembly.
ORDER OF ASSEMBLY:
HEARTY VEGGIES (tomato, cucumber, broccoli, cauliflower, celery, carrots, peppers, etc.)
BEANS/OTHER VEGGIES (any type of beans, mushrooms, zucchini, sprouts, corn, etc.)
PASTA & GRAINS
MEAT, EGGS, & CHEESE
FRUITS & AVOCADO
NUTS & SEEDS
As you can see, the dressing goes in FIRST, which puts it in the bottom of the jar. The lettuce goes in last, which puts it in the top of the jar. You want to keep the dressing and any other moisture rich vegetables as far away from the lettuce as possible. In future posts, I’ll talk about the salads I made and how they turned out. 🙂