When it comes to packaging up your food in the picnic basket, you will notice that mason jars are often recommended. This is because they are so versatile. They hold a lot of different foods, keep them from spoiling too fast, and can be used to eat out of as well as storing the food. Plus, the air-tight lids really help to keep the food from spoilage.
Salad in a Jar
Mason jars really are perfect for picnics, beginning with being able to pack along a salad that isn’t going to spoil. You can use your preferred size of the jar, from a medium 16-ounce one for a personal salad, or a 32-ounce mason jar that is good for a larger salad. When you are layering a salad in a jar, you want to make sure the heavier ingredients are at the bottom, with the lettuce at the very top. This is how you prevent the lettuce from wilting. Keep your dressing in a different container so the salad doesn’t get soggy before you can enjoy it.
You can also use a mason jar to add the ingredients of a burrito bowl, but use a jar instead of a regular food storage container. This just makes it funnier to eat, especially if you have kids at your picnic. You would layer it exactly how you would layer it in a bowl, with the rice and beans on the bottom, followed by your veggies, cheese, lettuce, sour cream, and anything else you want to add to it.
Fruits or Veggies
This is another simple way to use mason jars for storing your food items, but also to make it fun to eat. Fruits and veggies are good options for picnics when you are trying to stay a little healthier for your outing. You can combine your favorite fruits and veggies layered in smaller jars, then give out one jar to each person in your picnic. Another way to go is to store all veggies in one big jar, and all fruit in another. Then bring plates and ration them out to each person.
Cold Pasta and Veggies
Other salads also work well in a mason jar, including cold pasta salads. For a healthier pasta salad, add some whole wheat or brown rice pasta that is cooked and cooled off, with your choice of chopped veggies. For added flavor, include some parmesan cheese or some olive oil in the jar.