Monday, August 11, 2014

Mason Jars: Eco-Chic and Budget-Smart

At about $1 a piece, glass canning jars let you reduce your reliance on plastic without breaking the bank.

Vegetables in glass jars.

There are good reasons to use less plastic for storing and eating food and drinks. However, replacing all your plastic Tupperware with glass containers can cost a fortune! Enter Mason jars (or other glass canning jars). At about $1 per jar, they let you reduce your reliance on plastic without breaking the bank. Try some of these ideas at home:

  1. Pack leftovers in pint jars and refrigerate or freeze.
  2. Use them to make layered salads: put your dressing on the bottom, layer veggies, olives, beans, and cheese. Greens go on top so they don’t wilt! Sack lunches have never been so easy.
  3. For a chic rustic-themed party, use jars as drinking glasses. They work equally well for water, wine or cocktails!
  4. Freeze blanched vegetables such as asparagus or green beans in jars to help keep your freezer organized.
  5. Pack homemade holiday gifts in jars – glazed nuts, cookie mixes, caramel popcorn, flavored salts or dried herbs from your garden. Tie a pretty ribbon around the jar and it’s wrapped!
  6. Serve decadent desserts in 4-ounce quilted jars (think custard, ice cream or chocolate molten lava cakes) for an easy and attractive presentation.
  7. Store dried grains, beans, pasta and popcorn in jars. They make a gorgeous display in any kitchen.

Keep your eye out for Mason jars. They’re even popping up in trendy restaurants. By employing some of these creative tricks, you can be as fashionable and eco-conscious as anyone!

By Julia Simpson, 2012-2013 Bastyr dietetic intern, and Debra Boutin, MS, RD, chair and dietetic internship director, Department of Nutrition and Exercise Science at Bastyr University.

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