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GabyBaby posted 6/2/2014 13:30 PM

Do any of you do mason jar salads?
I see more and more posts about them and I'm curious about how long the salad stays fresh in the jars.

On Sundays, I prep my personal meals for the upcoming week (breakfast, lunch, and snacks), so I don't go over my calorie/carb, etc count (and so I stay away from vending machines and fast food joints). This weekly prep makes it easy to "grab and go" on busy mornings.

I'm curious if these salads stand up for a week or more in the jars without wilting.


[This message edited by GabyBaby at 1:38 PM, June 2nd (Monday)]

DixieD posted 6/2/2014 14:16 PM

I don't, but it sounds interesting. I'd also be interested in hearing about the meals you make in advance, for breakfast for example.

Dark Inertia posted 6/2/2014 14:53 PM

I have never heard of such a thing, but I googled it and it looks amazing. Is this suppose to help the veggies stay fresher? Or just a mode of transportation, or gift ideas? It looks super.

GabyBaby posted 6/2/2014 15:02 PM

Hi Dixie!

I watch my sugar intake very closely, so I don't eat a lot of store-bought breads, etc. On Sundays, I bake/cook goodies enough to last the week. With our schedules, "grab and go" is a must in the morning. Some of the things I prep in advance:

"Scotch-like" Eggs- boil eggs, then wrap them in ground meat. Bake each meat wrapped egg at 350 until done. Each one is a meal in itself and can be eaten hot or cold. Hubby and I both LOVE these. (They're Scotch-LIKE eggs because the true scotch eggs are breaded and deep fried).

Homemade yogurt- I make a batch every week of non-dairy yogurt, which lets me control cost and sugar content. I either eat the yogurt with fresh fruit or use it in my smoothies.

Muffins/bagels- I bake up a double batch of low carb (using nut/seed flours) muffins or bagels a couple of times each month. I individually wrap each one, then freeze in one big baggie the portion I wont need for the week to keep it fresh longer.

Crepes/Tortillas- again, low carb item made from ricotta cheese and egg. If you add a bit of stevia, you can use it for desserts, but I usually leave them plain and use them for sandwich wraps or stuff them with stevia sweetened cream cheese and strawberries for a nice breakfast (or dessert).

Smoothie Packs: Wash, slice, and bundle fruits and greens to make smoothies in the morning.

Sausage/Bacon, Egg, Cheese "Muffins" (For hubby)- use a muffin tin and into each well, put an egg, meat, and cheese. Bake and each one is its own serving!

As for lunches, I typically set aside a portion of the protein from dinner to take for lunch the next day, but add a salad or something light as the side dish. (Hence my curiosity about the mason jar salads).

Hope that sparks some ideas for you! :)

[This message edited by GabyBaby at 3:06 PM, June 2nd (Monday)]

GabyBaby posted 6/2/2014 15:04 PM

Is this suppose to help the veggies stay fresher? Or just a mode of transportation, or gift ideas? It looks super.

Its supposed to keep the salad fresh and crisp (and you can put the salad dressing in the very bottom if you "build" it correctly) as well as being a convenient way to transport everything in one container.

I want to find out if the claims are actually true before I waste a week's worth of supplies though!

karmahappens posted 6/2/2014 15:10 PM

I saw the post on FB once, it looked good. Unfortunately I am so unorganized I can't plan my next 10 minutes....although I say I am going to.

Because of this I am respectfully asking you to stop posting such things makes me look really, really bad.

Prepping on Sundays for a week....

(karma crawls away mortified with her lack of prep plans)


I want to find out if the claims are actually true before I waste a week's worth of supplies though!

Why not make one and see how long it stays fresh?

[This message edited by karmahappens at 3:18 PM, June 2nd (Monday)]

DixieD posted 6/2/2014 15:18 PM

That all sounds awesome Gaby!!

If you wouldn't mind, I'd like a recipe for the homemade non-diary yogurt and nut/seed flour muffins either here or in a PM. Please..…(a little begging)......

Those mason jar salads look good too. A lot of possibilities. Thanks for the heads up.

This is another reason I love SI.

jo2love posted 6/2/2014 15:31 PM

Who else wants to go at eat GabyBaby's?

Love your creativity and healthy options.
I've never tried mason jars, but am glad you started this thread.

JanaGreen posted 6/2/2014 15:37 PM

This post is making me so freaking hungry.

GabyBaby posted 6/2/2014 15:42 PM

Karma -
Sorry to make you look bad. We'll just reword that to say that you're "in the planning stages" instead of "unorganized".

Why not make one and see how long it stays fresh?

That makes sense and I should totally do it, but I also wanted to hear some real world experiences.

Dixie, I've experimented with a bunch of non-dairy yogurts, and what seems to work best as the thickener while still giving it a regular yogurt flavor is- tofu! Soy products to some are the devil though, so you can use the non-tofu version I'll share as well.

With regard to the muffins, they are VERY filling and dense due to the almond flour. I tend to make mini muffins instead of regular sized ones and eat two minis as a serving. You can also substitute a portion of the almond flour with an equal amount of sunflour (ground sunflower seeds) to lighten up a bit.

Non_Dairy Yogurt - Tofu (Makes 6 5.5oz servings)
1 block of silken tofu
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup lemon juice
2 cups almond/coconut milk
2 packets Stevia or sweetener of choice
4 probiotic capsules (optional), powder removed and capsules discarded

1. Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth and creamy.
2. Transfer to individual yogurt jars and incubate yogurt at 100 F (or use yogurt maker) for 6-8 hours.
3. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Nutrition Info (per serving):
Calories - 50g, Carb- 1g, Fiber- 1g, Protein- 1g, Fat- 3g

Non-Dairy Yogurt - Almond Milk (Makes 1 quart / 8 servings)
4 cups almond milk
(soy, CANNED coconut, rice, cow, or goat work too)
Yogurt starter – select ONE:
-1/2 cup plain yogurt (with live cultures)
-1/2 teaspoon yogurt starter
-contents of 1 to 2 probiotic capsules
-1 packet freeze-dried culture
1 Tbsp sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (optional)

OPTIONAL THICKENING AGENT (yields a firmer yogurt)- select one:
-2 Tbsp milk powder
-3 Tbsp cornstarch
-1/2 packet (7g) plain gelatin
-1 tsp xanthan gum

1. On the stove, pour milk and sugar into a heavy bottomed pan and warm the almond milk until it just begins to boil (approx 180 degrees F).
NOTE: Holding the milk at 180 degrees for 30 minutes will yield a thicker product.
2. Remove pan from heat.
3. Cool the milk to approximately 105 to 110 degrees F, whisking occasionally to keep the mixture smooth. At that temperature, you should be able to comfortably immerse your finger in it. To help the milk cool, you can fill your sink with cold water to below the level of the top of the pan. Place the pan in the sink and stir milk with a whisk.
4. When milk is the correct temperature, whisk in yogurt or culture (as well as vanilla and thickening agent if using).
5. Pour into yogurt maker jars and incubate.

To Incubate without using a Yogurt Maker
5. Pour into very clean quart-sized jars and cover tightly.
6. Yogurt must incubate in a warm place, undisturbed. Incubation methods to use:
a. PREFERRED METHOD: Using a cooler is a very reliable method. (I used this for a year before I bought my yogurt maker).
Partially fill a cooler with water that is warm but in which you can comfortably
immerse your hand (about 120ºF). Place jar in cooler. Water should come to just
below the top of the jar. Close cooler.

b. On top of the pilot light in a gas oven

c. On a heating pad or wrapped in an electric blanket

d. In a thermos.

7. No matter which incubation method you choose, let the yogurt sit undisturbed for at 6 to 12 hours, depending on how tart you prefer the finished product. (The longer you allow the yogurt to ferment, the more “sour” the flavor). At about 6 hours, start checking the yogurt periodically. Make sure the temperature is not too hot (which will kill the cultures) or too cold (yogurt won’t set). Check the firmness of the yogurt. When it feels firm to the touch, it is done.
8. Refrigerate yogurt for at least 12 hours before you try it. Don’t worry if your first batch does not set completely. Drinking liquid yogurt (kefir) is just as beneficial as firm yogurt.
9. Be sure to save enough yogurt to start your next batch. Homemade yogurt lasts at least a week in the refrigerator.
10. You can strain the yogurt through a cheesecloth lined container for even thicker yogurt. Allow it to drip into a bowl for at least an hour to remove excess liquid. Straining should be done in a cool place so that the yogurt does not spoil.

Chocolate Muffins (makes 12)
1/4 cup butter, olive oil, or grapeseed oil
1/2 cup Splenda brown sugar blend
1/3 cup water
3 eggs
1 Tbsp vanilla
Dash of salt
1/2 cup cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 cup almond flour
2 Tbsp coconut flour
1/8 cup ground flax
1/2 cup low carb chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350F
2. Mix butter and splenda. Add in eggs, vanilla, water and salt.
3. Once all the wet ingredients are combined, add cocoa powder, baking soda, flours, and flax.
4. Once the batter is well mixed, add chocolate chips.
5. Check batter texture. You want a wet, soft dough, kind of mousse-y in texture. If the batter seems dry, add a little more water.
6. Bake for 20 minutes, but check at the 15 minute mark. These can overbake fast so keep an eye on them.
Store these in the fridge and reheat in the microwave for 18 seconds in the morning. They will keep for almost 2 weeks in the fridge.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Muffins (makes 12)
1/4 cup butter or coconut oil, softened
1/2 cup Splenda
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup peanut butter
3/4 cup sour cream or plain yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups peanut or almond flour
3 Tbsp PB2
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup low carb chocolate chips or a low carb chocolate bar, chopped

1. Preheat the oven to 350 °F.
2. Line a muffin pan with paper liners or grease the pan.
3. Mix/cream butter and sweetener.
4. Beat eggs in well.
5. Mix in peanut butter, sour cream, and vanilla.
6. Combine dry ingredients together and add to creamed mixture.
7. Stir in most of the chocolate chips, reserving a few for the top.
8. Spoon mixture into prepared muffin tin.
9. Bake for 18-20 minutes. Test with a toothpick for doneness.


[This message edited by GabyBaby at 3:50 PM, June 2nd (Monday)]

GabyBaby posted 6/2/2014 15:45 PM

Jana and Jo2love.

Sundays just work for me because hubby is at work until the afternoon and the kids don't come back from their dad's house until around 3pm.

So I've got the entire morning/early afternoon to make Sunday dinner and prep for the week.
It helps that I love to cook and bake though!

JanaGreen posted 6/2/2014 15:46 PM

My stomach is now eating itself.

GabyBaby posted 6/2/2014 15:50 PM

LOL sorry!!!
I promise I won't post pictures and make it even worse.

Sad in AZ posted 6/2/2014 16:03 PM

I worry about carrying the glass mason jars because I'm a klutz and generally not careful. I noticed that there are plastic mason jars, but I don't know how they'd work. I love the idea of these salads, though.

JanaGreen posted 6/2/2014 16:07 PM

LOL I'm kidding! It all sounds delicious! ---> that's me chowing down

GabyBaby posted 6/2/2014 16:16 PM

I worry about carrying the glass mason jars because I'm a klutz and generally not careful.

This is a little bit of a concern for me as well, but I tend to be pretty careful with fragile items (I have yet to drop my iphone *knock on wood*).
If nothing else, I can see myself knitting or crocheting a "carrier" (double strand) to at least buffer it in my lunch bag. (My water bottle carrier with strap that I made to take on walks took all of about 30 minutes, so this may be a good alternative for us knitter/crocheters!!)

[This message edited by GabyBaby at 4:20 PM, June 2nd (Monday)]

Crescita posted 6/2/2014 16:35 PM

I did these for a little while, and they worked fine, I just didn't find them large enough to be filling. I never seemed to have enough room for spinach/lettuce, and considering that the other ingredients wouldn't wilt, the whole concept seemed a bit unnecessary.

GabyBaby posted 6/2/2014 16:55 PM

Thanks Crescita!
Hmmm....I'll have to try measuring out what I normally take as a salad portion, then see if I can jam it in the jar. If it doesnt fit, I must acq...errr..I'll skip it.

I will say that part of the appeal for me is that I'm a closet container freak. I have empty containers all over my house that I've kept/purchased simply because they're cool in shape, design, or function.

jjct posted 6/2/2014 17:18 PM

Hey Gaby - I looked for it, 1 and 2 - quart mason jars are out there, should be room enough?

As an aside, when I read @ the struggling SAHMs on here, I often think that what you do would be a great home business.

This single guy with a galley kitchen would buy!

GabyBaby posted 6/2/2014 17:36 PM

Thanks JJCT!
I have a bunch of jars in different sizes, but if it wont fit in the bag that I carry for lunch, it wouldn't be worth it to me. I will definitely check though!

As for a home business, that's actually a fantastic idea for a SAHM.
I'm in California though and am not in a mental, physical, or financial position to contemplate navigating the various rules and regulations for running a hhome business that involves food (especially since I have multiple pets as well).
Hmmm...I might be willing to travel to THEIR home to prep though.

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