DIY Mason Jar Smoothies & Salads
Ask any yo-yo dieter their biggest obstacle to success and they’ll likely say time. However, everyone has the same 24 hours in a day. The key is not to wait until when you have the time, rather it’s understanding how to make the time. Healthy eating doesn’t have to be an intimidating, labor-intensive chore – especially when it comes to green drinks and salads. Follow these recipes for easy meal preparation and avoid fast food traps when you’re on-the-go.
Mason Jar Smoothies
- Buy a pack of wide-mouth mason jars.
- Buy a weekly supply of smoothie ingredients. If you have a Costco or Thrive Market membership, pick up a bag of frozen mixed berries, especially if they’re not in season. If you prefer fresh produce, try chopped kale, baby spinach, orange slices, cucumber…the possibilities are endless.
- Wash and dry your mason jars thoroughly.
- Prepare your smoothies in advance.
Here are some prep tips:
- To keep the smoothie as fresh as possible and to avoid soggy ingredients, put your leafy greens in first, add fruit like berries or banana slices, then top it off with seeds or fats.
- Pop the jars in the freezer or fridge.
- When you’re ready to drink up, simply dump the contents of the mason jar into your blender, turn it on for about 45 seconds or less, and voila! Your day is immediately off to a healthy, productive start. Keep a green supplement powder on the kitchen counter for an added boost to your blended creation.
Mason Jar Salads
The concept is the same as Mason jar smoothie, BUT put your greens in last. Simply build your own salad for a quick grab-and-go meal chocked full of vitamins and minerals. You can even include that leftover chicken breast from last night’s dinner for extra protein. If you think you might forget the dressing in the morning, put a little in the bottom of the jar or set aside pre-filled snack-sized containers in the refrigerator.
Here’s an easy recipe to try:
- 1 cup baby spinach leaves (pre-bagged and washed for added convenience)
- 6-8 baby carrots, halved
- ½ green bell pepper, chopped (dice up the other half for salad #2)
- 3-6 cherry tomatoes
- 1/4 cup broccoli sprouts
- ¼ – ½ large cucumber, diced
- 12 almonds
Due to the carb and sugar content of most fruit, it’s always better to add more vegetables when possible. If you’re not a big fan of the greens, don’t be too hard on yourself. An all-fruit smoothie is better than a Starbucks latte and may even leave you feeling more energized than coffee once your body adjusts to a regular influx of nutrients. Try to aim for at least one leafy green as a base and build from there with the added sugar from one half of a banana or a handful of strawberries.
Your intentions are only as good as your preparations, so ditch the excuses for good by planning a week’s worth of breakfasts in less time than it would take to watch a 30 minute sitcom. Green drinks, fruit smoothies, and to-go salads are creative ways to spark motivation. Besides, healthy eating never looked as cute as it does in a mason jar.