Mason jars are all the craze, but how the heck do you use these things? So, you bought a few crisp, dazzling Mason jars from the grocery store because they looked cute, but now you have to make them functional. Aside from making a nice vase for your freshly picked flowers, Mason jars are excellent food storage containers with endless possibilities!
Here are some of my favorite Mason jar uses and tips
1) Buy food in bulk
Buying foods in bulk, like I do at my local grocery store is so much cheaper than buying a commercially packaged product sitting on the store shelf. The stores I shop have barrels of loose bulk foods like flour, nuts, dried fruit, beans, seeds, granola, and grains. You can scoop the exact amount of food you want, weigh the bag, and within seconds you have the perfectly portioned ingredient just waiting to be transferred to and stored in a beautiful mason jar. I save a ton of money by buying in bulk and I can always take as much or as little as I need, store everything in my Mason jars, and have these ingredients available for a long time.
2) Label your lids!
Cover your bases by always labeling the food item and the date you made the jar it’s new permanent home. There is nothing more frustrating than sifting through stale or aging jared foods and thinking, “What the heck is this and how long has it been in here?”. Couscous can be mistaken for quinoa and walnuts can go rancid after a few months. Label your jars to keep your pantry organized, fresh, and your sanity intact.
3) Acid proof
I like to make vinegar, honey, and mustard salad dressings from scratch and I always hold onto extra squeezed lemon juice. Unfortunately, acidic foods or liquids are no so great in Tupperware and can actually eat away at the plastic! Save yourself from a mouth full of plastic acid wash and keep your acidic foods in a glass Mason jar. The glass won’t give way to the acidity and the lid’s screw top and tight seal will ensure your ingredients are intact. I also like to add rosemary to a mason jar with lemon juice I find sitting in my fridge, making an infusion of flavor for my next recipe.
4) Cut out rancidity
Some foods like chia seeds, flax seeds, and walnuts have a lot of oils that can easily go rancid if you don’t use them right away. I like to store these oily, but super nutritious foods in mason jars and stick them in the fridge. The tight seal on the jar keeps them from going bad and because the glass is so thick, I don’t have to worry about my flax tasting like the Chinese takeout I had it sitting next to the night before.
Feeling a little broke or noncommittal to a giant 12-pack of glass jars? Turn your empty pasta sauce or pickle jars into Mason jars! Just rip off the label and clean them well. They serve the same function as Mason jars and might even be more fun and personal.