Mason jars are taking the modern kitchen, wedding, and photo shoot by storm. Hip? Absolutely, but let’s not be too quick to sell this fad short. Making the move to glass jars is also a very common choice among green mamas and you know what that means; there must be good and well researched reasoning behind it! Whether you are hip or a hippie, or nowhere in between, these ten points show exactly why you should invest in mason jars for the long haul.
1. MASON JARS ARE NON-TOXIC.
Our family’s jump into jar life began when we ditched plastic food storage and cups, replacing them with different sizes of mason jars. The most compelling reason for this was being able to eliminate our exposure to the harmful chemicals found in plastics. When consumables are stored in plastic, a process called leaching happens which, in short, means that the cancer-causing chemicals within transfer to the food. One of the big bad wolves we especially want to avoid is the ever-popular bisphenol A (BPA). We now also know that many chemicals used to replace BPA in BPA-free plastics can be just as harmful, if not more, than the original culprit. Glass is a great way to avoid not only BPA and its substitutes, but also many other harmful toxins. We now store everything from almond flour to left overs and packed lunches in mason jars.
2. THEY ARE GREAT FOR FREEZING.
Whether you are wanting to freeze breast milk, bone broth, or black beans, mason jars are right for the task. Contents are well-kept, and dry erase markers can be used on the lids for easy and temporary labeling. When freezing liquids, it is important to not fill the jar completely as the contents will slightly expand in the process. Most sizes of mason jars fit nicely in freezer doors.
3. THEY HAVE BUILT IN MEASUREMENTS.
This handy little feature displays lines that measure cups, millilitres (ml), and ounces. The quick reference it gives can be very helpful for measuring liquids or dry goods, like grains, that can be cooked with approximate measures.
4. THE LIDS ARE INTERCHANGEABLE.
There are only two sizes of canning jar lids to choose from: wide-mouth and small-/standard-mouth. Whether using a 4 ounce jar or pint-sized, and regardless of which major brand you choose, a wide-mouth jar will fit with any of your wide-mouth lids, and a small-mouth jar will fit with any of your small-mouth lids. Simple. And revolutionary.
5. THEY FIT MOST BLENDERS.
Small-mouthed mason jars can screw into the bladed base of most blenders. This trick allows you to blend right into a personal sized container that you can drink or eat directly out of (or store in), saving yourself a dish or two. I’ve found this concept to be especially nice for smoothies, and I know many people also use it for baby food. In essence this becomes a makeshift Magic Bullet blender, but avoids plastic.
6. THEY ARE GREAT FOR SALADS ON-THE-GO.
I love eating salads but hardly ever used to pack them for on-the-go lunches because of the salad curse. You know the one I am talking about. By the time you are ready to eat, the lettuce has wilted and become a soggy mess, even if you kept the dressing on the side. Mason jars change all of that and make eating your pre-packed leafy greens a cinch.
The how to:
- Layer your salad in the jar starting with the dressing at the very bottom
- Place the driest/heaviest fillers directly on top of that (ie: shredded carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, cooked meat, chickpeas…)
- Layer in the lighter ingredients (tomatoes, cucumbers, mushrooms, quinoa, onions, nuts…)
- Pack in your greens
- Tie a fork to the outside if you want to be really fancy
- When ready to eat: Simply shake (with the lid on!) to toss and eat it right out of the jar
7. YOU CAN BAKE IN THEM.
Mason jars can withstand grueling oven temperatures and are great for personal-sized baked goods. But wait – it gets better than this. Save yourself some real time scrubbing dishes by using the same jar to assemble ingredients, bake, store, reheat (if needed), and eat right out of! This option is perfect for picnics, taking dessert over to a friend’s house, or just a fun and cute way to portion things out.
8. THEY ARE GREAT TO DRINK FROM.
We can all picture a large jar full of ice-cold Southern Sweet Tea, but don’t let your imagination stop there. I have seen everything from organic beer to fresh vegetable juice served in these things. Our family loves these handy little lid converters available for small and wide mouth jars, and these stainless steel straws, that can turn any mason jar into a travel/spill-free glass.
9. THEY MAKE GREAT GIFT WRAP.
Everyone loves receiving a gift in a jar! Here are a couple of inspirations… GF Pumpkin Pie Muffin Mix in a Jar, Sewing Kit in a Jar, Rosemary Mint Sugar Scrub in a Jar, Detox Bath in a Jar… be creative! The options are endless.
10. YOU’LL NEVER RUN OUT OF PARTY DECOR.
In charge of decorations for a last-minute party? No problem. Just pull out a couple (or more) jars from your stash and get creative! Plain mason jars can make great vases, condiment holders, or display other decor details. You can turn jars into diy candles or hanging lanterns, or add cool toppers to the lids to give an extra spark to your decor.