Could transporting your salad to work, school or just to take on the road get any easier?! Our friends at Chief Active have shared this wonderful article with us and we think these tips will come in handy for all the Food Matters salad lovers out there!
In case you hadn’t noticed, mason jars are all the rage these days! And with good reason – they are super cute and such a handy size, whether you use them around the home, use them for storage, or even use them to package your food!
While we are all about doing what makes you feel good, there is a bit of an art to packing the perfect mason jar salad to ensure maximum freshness and flavor when you want to eat your salad later on.
Here Are Our Top 10 Tips For Building The Perfect Mason Jar Salad:
1. First things first, make sure your jar has been washed and dried before getting started (excess moisture in the jar will make salad leaves go yuck).
2. Be prepared! If you are super organized and get all your bits and pieces together first, you can whip up a mason jar salad in about 30 seconds flat! Next, prep and cook all your veggies and proteins that you want to include.
3. Want a dressing? I like to do things like cook my sweet potato in coconut oil and season with cinnamon and turmeric, or soak soba noodles in green tea and tamari, to let those flavors come through in my salads so I don’t even need dressing. But for a more traditional dressing you can’t go past good, old fashioned, extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of Himalayan salt and cracked pepper!
4. It’s all about the layers, baby! To ensure your salad doesn’t turn into a soggy mess by lunchtime, it’s best to layer your salad with the more ‘juicy’ produce, like noodles, pasta, sweet potato, cut tomatoes, at the bottom, of the jar. If you have a dressing you can put this in the bottom of the jar too.
5. The middle layers of your salad can have a little bit of moisture in them, but you don’t want them to be soaking wet because it will muck up the delicate leafies that you’re putting on top. Grated carrot, zucchini, kale, corn kernels, blueberries, and whole cherry tomatoes are all great options for this middle layer because they are sturdy enough that they won’t get crushed (plus they taste great!)
6. Next layer is your leafy greens, like baby spinach, rocket (arugula), and mesclun lettuce leaves.
7. I also always add fresh cut herbs to all my salads because even a tiny sprinkle adds so much flavor.
8. Remember not to fill your jar all the way to the top because you need a little bit of room so you can shake your salad and mix everything up before you eat it. If the jar is packed too tightly you’ll just end up with a salad brick!
9. It’s always a good idea to add a handful of added protein to each salad, like chicken, drained tuna, boiled egg, seeds or nuts right on top.
10. PRO TIP: There’s a very important reason why I put nuts and seeds in the jar last. When I shake my salads to mix them up, the nuts and seeds make A LOT of noise when you shake it around. So if you keep shaking until you can’t hear your seeds clanging about, you know that your salad is mixed through good and proper.