Today I thought we’d chat about mason jars for a bit. I was looking in my cupboard the other day and I realized that I have a TON of mason jars of all different sizes. Then I started thinking about all the different ways I use them. I made a list of some of my favorite uses and then did some research to put together a fun little list for you guys of ways you can use mason jars in the kitchen. There are tons of ideas out there because these jars can be used in pretty much any area of the house….but I didn’t want to make the list too overwhelming, so I thought I’d just focus on kitchen uses for this post.
First, a quick review of just a few reasons why I love mason jars:
- They can be used for portion control.
- They’re microwave and oven safe.
- They’re BPA free!
- They come in a wide variety of sizes, shapes and colors.
- They’re relatively inexpensive.
I could go on an on…but let’s get to the list. Here are some easy ways to use mason jars in the kitchen:
Sprouting beans, lentils and grains
An easy way to boost the nutritional value and you can do it right in your kitchen! Check out my post on How To Sprout Lentils post to get started!
Single serve desserts
I almost always use a mason jar when I make my Microwave Sweet Potato Muffin! It’s the perfect way to avoid an overflow and leaves plenty of room to top with ice cream or yogurt! You can also use them to make parfaits, pies, custards and more. It’s super convenient because you can easily make individual portions and they can be baked right in the jars! Need more dessert inspiration? Check out this article or check out pinterest for tons of ideas.
Salads and Meals In A Jar
These are perfect for packing in a lunch, picnic basket, etc. My friend Lauren wrote a Salad in a Jar post for me a couple of years ago with three yummy ideas to get you started. Put the dressing on the bottom and the lettuce on top to avoid sogginess and you can prep 4-5 salads at a time, store them in the fridge and have lunches ready for the week!
If you want to go beyond salad, Lexi just wrote a great post with some meal in a jar ideas like a Layered Taco Jar, Cajun Shrimp Jar and more! The possibilities are endless!
Next time you make a smoothie, serve it up in a mason jar! The fact that they have lids make it easy to take one with you on the go! And in case you haven’t seen this cool trick, if you have the right kind of blender, you can attach your mason jar right to the blender, which means no blender jar clean-up for you! Check out this article for more details.
Use jars to store pantry items like grains, pasta, beans, nuts and seeds. Larger mason jars can also be used for baking supplies like flour, sugar, chocolate chips, etc and even things like muffin tin liners!
Brighten up your kitchen with a jar full of flowers. They make a perfect vase. Look for colored mason jars to add even more color to the room!
There’s just something about drinking out of a mason jar that’s more fun than a regular cup! Try my Healthy Cherry Limeade if you don’t believe me! You can also use them to enjoy your coffee – hot or cold- or a fancy cocktail. Take things a step further and include the kiddos by turning a few mason jars into sippy cups! You can buy the lids or convert your own! If you like DIY projects, here’s an easy video about how to add a straw hole to your mason jar lid.
Make a couple of these and use them for things like chia & hemp seeds, powdered sugar, toothpicks and parmesan cheese. All you have to do is pound a few nail holes into the metal lid of a mason jar! Here’s a great tutorial to get you started.
Individual Appetizers & Snacks
Again, these jars can be super helpful for portion control. Try serving up individual veggies and dip jars as an after school snack, or make some individual 7 layer dip jars as an appetizer for your next party! Keep in mind that the wide mouth mason jars are probably best for this!
Kitchen Herb Garden
Mason jars are the perfect size for growing fresh herbs in your kitchen. Here’s a great tutorial for getting started. Set them on your window sill to grow or, if you’re feeling more adventurous, you can grow them on your wall!
One of the more creative ways I’ve seen to use a mason jar, my friend Christina used the LIDS to make Mason Jar Lid Tarts!
Gifts In A Jar
Whether it’s layering dry ingredients for a pancake mix or a batch of cookies (Check out links to 95 foodie gift in a jar ideas here), filling a jar with trailmix (like my Blizzard Bites) or flipping things upside down and using the jars to deliver a cupcake or muffin, gifts in a jar are perfect for holiday gifts, parties, baby showers and more!
Store Your Leftovers
Mason jars are great for storing things like soup, sauces, broth, salsa, nut butters, etc in the fridge!
You can also use them to take the place of some of your plastic tupperware containers as you make the transition to all glass!
Store-bought dressings are often full of unnecessary ingredients. Make your own in a mason jar and store in the fridge. Make sure the lid is on tight and just give it a good shake before each use!
If you grow your own fruits and veggies or just like to stock up when they’re on sale at the farmer’s market or the grocery store, canning is a great way to store fresh produce and have it on hand when it’s not in season! Try your hand at canning salsas, veggies, jams, sauces and pickling in mason jars!
And just as an added bonus, here’s a few non-food ways to use them:
- Make a gratitude jar.
- Use them to store leftover paint so you don’t have to keep the paint cans that take up so much space.
- Make a terrarium.
- Use one as a lamp base or make a lantern.
- Store craft supplies.
- Pour your own candles.
What are your favorite ways to use mason jars?! Leave ideas in the comments to keep the inspiration flowing!