We take a look at just a few lunch ideas to make use of increasingly popular mason jars.

Mason jars are not only a must-have storage accessory but are a great way to pack a quick and healthy lunch. Their airtight tops means food stays fresher for longer giving you the opportunity to prepare lunches at the beginning of the week and give yourself extra time to relax in the evenings.

The jars themselves are easy to come-by and are available in all different sizes, suitable for various types of food. It’s worth buying multiple jars to keep pre-prepared food in throughout the week.

Salad

Salad in not only an ideal lunch, it’s also a perfect fit for mason jars.

Keep the dressing at the bottom, as far away from the salad until you want to eat it. If you’re using veg that can benefit from marinating in the dressing, put these in next to give them time to soften and absorb some of the liquids.

On top of that you can add any other veg that can withstand the weight of the other ingredients. From there you can add noodles or humous, depending on personal preference, and a layer of protein.

If you do decide to use perishable foods like chicken, tomatoes or avocado, add these the day of rather than in advance. Leafs and greens should all stay nice and protected at the top.

Salads can last for days in the fridge and are great to grab on the go.

Salads are the perfect jar-food. Picture: flickr.com

Salads are the perfect jar-food. Picture: flickr.com

Pasta

If prepared right, pasta can be a healthy and delicious lunch and if packed in a jar, you won’t have to worry about portion sizes. Keep the sauce to the bottom, any other ingredients, could be tomatoes, feta cheese or spinach, to the middle. Add the cooked pasta at the top. The layering will keep the ingredients fresh until you’re ready to mix and enjoy.

Noodles

For those who are carb conscious, another option could be to use noodles. While instant noodles are generally frowned upon by foodies, noodles in a jar are a new, guilt-free way to enjoy.

Cook the noodles and place them at the bottom of the jar with any other tasty ingredients such as quinoa, beans or lentils. Find your favourite flavouring to add, this could be anything from chipotle, sweet and sour or coconut sauce. Veg such as grated carrot, beetroot, spinach or kale should go on the top. Give the jar a shake when you’re ready to tuck in.

Soup

Soup is a popular lunch time choice and with the popularity of mason jars, it’s easier than ever to bring your favourite homemade batch to work.

Burrito

Burritos are commonly associated fast food with various Mexican style restaurants popping up all over the country. Enjoying a burrito doesn’t have to come with the hassle of going to shop as its ingredients fit perfectly inside a jar.

All the ingredients you’ll need is salsa, black beans, cheese and sour cream and a whole meal wrap to add it all too. If you’re after something more substantial, add brown rice or quinoa.

Rice

Rice is an ideal snack for mason jar lunch as it’s easy to prepare and can be easily compressed. Fried rice is a great way to work vegetables into your diet as it can be combined with basically anything. All you’ll need to add is the right seasoning. After you’ve prepared your dish, spoon it into the jars and store until you’re ready to reheat and enjoy.

 

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