Hello to all those organic food lovers out there! This week I would like to remind everyone that canning jars are very versatile and can be used for many other things besides canning. Canning is a great way to make use of all your garden vegetables. We carry many different canning supplies including wide and regular mouth pints and quarts. The pints are $12.59/case for the regular mouth jars with lids and $13.99/case for the wide mouth jars with lids. The quarts are $15.29/case for the regular mouth jars with lids and $17.29/case for the wide mouth jars with lids. Now that you know what we have, we can talk about some other uses for those amazing little jars. I found these 31 other uses at http://www.keeperofthehome.org/2012/04/31-ways-to-use-a-mason-jar-in-your-kitchen.html and thought they were pretty neat. Check ‘em out:
1. Leftovers. Perfect for soups or stews, grains like rice, chopped veggies, scrambled eggs… endless possibilities.
2. Smoothies. Make extra and store it in the fridge for later in the day, or use the jar to bring the smoothie when you’re on the go.
3. Drinking water for day. Need a way to visually measure how much water you are drinking throughout the day? Try using quart or 1/2 gallon mason jars to put your daily water out on the counter, then use it to refill glasses until it’s gone. You’ll know for sure whether you hit your water target or not.
4. Sprouting seeds or grains. With the sprouting lids I mentioned, this is a breeze for making fresh green sprouts. But even without fancy lids, I’ve been using jars for sprouting for years. Works for sprouting grains, too.
5. Soaking nuts or seeds. Soaking overnight reduces enzyme-inhibitors in nuts and seeds.
6. Store nut butter. After you soak your nuts, make homemade nut butter!
7. Sourdough starter. I like pint jars for creating new sourdough starter, then I’ll transfer it to a quart or 1/2 gallon jar for storing and maintaining the starter long term.
8. Making/storing kombucha. This healthful, fermented drink can also be flavored.
9. Homemade yogurt. I like making mine directly in jars, either in my oven or in my Excalibur dehydrator. Another option is to make yogurt in your crockpot, then transfer to jars once cool and set for easy fridge storage.
10. Mason jar meal. This creative idea would be great for a picnic!
11. Flower vase. Simple, quaint, beautiful.
12. Making milk kefir or water kefir or coconut milk kefir.
13. Storing homemade juice or iced teas in fridge. The large 1/2 gallon jars are particularly perfect for this, and even for brewing the tea, especially with the screw-on plastic lids.
14. Keeping herbs fresh in the fridge (green onions, cilantro, etc.). Fill a jar 3/4 full with water, place your bunch of fresh herbs in it, then store in the fridge for herbs that keep much longer than they would in your produce drawer.
15. Spice mixes. Making your own spice mixes is cheap and easy. The small jar (1/2 pint or smaller) make ideal spice jars.
16. Dry pantry staples. I like to buy in bulk, then store staples like sea salt, baking soda and baking powder in jars.
17. Dried vegetables from garden. Not only is it practical, but dehydrated summer produce looks beautiful in jars.
18. Canning. Whether you stick to a batch or two of jam each season, or you want to get serious about preserving the season’s bounty, this is the season to think about stocking up on jars if you plan to do some summer preserving.
19. Storing dry beans, pasta, rice, etc. in the pantry. There’s something particularly pleasing about a pantry full of mason jars.
20. Mixing salad dressings. I use 1/2 pint or pint jars with lids to mix up salad dressings, then store them in the door of my fridge to make salad eating simple. You could do this with homemade marinades or other types of sauces as well.
21. Homemade syrup. Our two favorite syrups (aside from genuine maple syrup, our number one choice) are honey butter syrup or a more typical syrup made with Sucanat (unrefined sugar) or coconut sugar. A perk of using glass is that you can soften extra honey butter syrup (since it will harden in the fridge) by letting it warm up in a pot of lightly boiling water for a couple minutes.
22. Mason jar salads. Love this brilliant idea!
23. Homemade cough syrup or other cold-kicking remedies.
24. Fermenting foods like salsa or pickles or sauerkraut. Leave them out on the counter while fermenting, then add a lid and store in the fridge, while you enjoy these digestion-boosting foods
25. As a drinking glass. I’ve seen many people actually build up a collection of various mason jars, purely for the sake of using as drinking glasses. Great for everyday, or fun for a party or special event.
26. Dry baking mixes like bread, pancakes, etc. Making your own homemade baking mixes saves money and time. Store them in amounts that are just right for one morning of pancakes, or two loaves of bread, to simplify the baking process even more (no measuring!).
27. Culture your own creme fraiche (or sour cream).
28. Soup broth. Store your homemade bone broth for a few days in your fridge, or in your freezer (but make sure to leave a good amount of headroom so that your jars don’t crack).
29. Food gifts. Layered food mixes, like dry bean soup or cookies in a jar, look so lovely and homey in a mason jar. Add a pretty fabric or decorative paper label to the lid to make it extra special.
30. Decoratively. Aside from their practical uses, they’re also just plain old pretty. Try doing a search on Pinterest for Mason Jar. You won’t believe how many amazing ideas you find. Candles, lanterns, party decor… the possibilities are endless!
31. Edible beauty products. Did you know that you already have a kitchen full of beauty supplies? Try making some of these edible beauty products, or homemade scrubs like the ones in Simple Scrubs to Make and Give.