Why would the humble Mason Jar be the solution to so many things in the kitchen? Mason Jars are my favorite kitchen tool. It is inexpensive, simple, and sustainable on our way to becoming plastic-free. They are perfect for organizing all kinds of items. They look beautiful in your refrigerator, freezer, pantry, or set right out on the counter. The transparency of easy organization helps you see clearly what foods you have to eat, reducing food waste.
I have very little plastic in my kitchen anymore. Letting go of plastic containers has been a process. Once I finally chose not to use or buy any more plastic containers, mason jars became the obvious choice. Every week I am finding new uses for these jars.
I don't know how you feel, but it seems like figuring out how to organize in the kitchen can be overwhelming and never-ending.
Here are 5 places to start changing to Mason Jars in your refrigerator, freezer, and pantry:
1. Storing Food from Other Packaging - The size is too awkward, bulk-sized, or just not packaged well. Food industries often pay a lot of money towards packaging that is not sustainable for our kitchens or our health.
2. Anything You Make Homemade - Salad dressings are great in a mason jar, and it's easy to mix. This Pour Spout is an excellent addition to your Mason Jar for pouring. I also put my homemade spices in jars with these Shaker Lids. Use Big Shaker Holes for cleaning supplies. Other examples of homemade are an assortment of sauces, overnight oats, chia seed pudding, homemade yogurt, and dried fruits. I also love lids with straw holes in them. Drinking something out of a mason jar just feels good.
3. Glass Jars for Dry Food Storage - Think about storing oats, rice, quinoa, pasta, beans, and many other dry foods in a glass jar. You can also store nuts, seeds, protein powders, and other items in the freezer in mason jars. They will last a lot longer. They are also beautiful, all lined up in a pantry, refrigerator, or freezer.
4. Veggies and Fruits in the Refrigerator - I love using jars for storing chopped veggies for the week. The shelf life of cut washed vegetables and fruits is typically very short - about two days. But if you put them in a mason jar, they will last up to a week and sometimes more. I chop dark leafy greens with scissors and put them in a large mason jar for easy access throughout the week when making salads. Jars are airtight and keep some food from spoiling quickly. It is also easier to see what is in them, so nothing is forgotten in the back of the refrigerator. Here is more information on Produce Storage.
5. Storing Leftovers and Extras - I use mason jars to store cooked grains, soups, or leftovers for later. I will also freeze leftovers and soups using mason jars but make sure to leave a little room at the top of the jar for expansion, or you will have some cracked mason jars in your freezer.
I hope you have found this article helpful as you start to change over from plastic to glass. Mason Jars are the simple solution. As you become more aware and start making more things at home, you will find your favorite uses for these versatile and unique kitchen tools. I have collected a lot of Mason Jars over the years. Finding new uses for my mason jars may be a slight obsession. There is nothing as pretty or functional for food storage as jars in your kitchen.
Brandy Lane Hickman, NBHWC
2B Well Integrative Health Collaborative, Owner Inspired Nutrition, National Board Certified Health Coach, Kitchen Therapy
Board President, Missouri Nutrition Alliance Non-Profit