May 22, 2024


Health know-how

Healthy Habits: Meal prepping salads and the benefits for your health

LANSING, Mich (WLNS) -Eating healthy is one of the most important things you can do to live a longer life, and swapping out one meal a day with a healthy salad can go a long way.

Everyone loves a good drive-thru lunch, but Dietitian Sarah Heinz at Sparrow Hospital says your heart doesn’t. And the grams of fat in a drive-thru meal can be higher than you think.

“So think of eating a stick of butter, next time you go through a drive-thru,” said Heinz

So instead, she says pre-prep a salad. These 4 salads below are filled with vitamins minerals and can increase the level of antioxidants in your blood. And this mason jar salad below can be made days in advance.

How to Pack the Perfect Salads in a Jar:

  • How do the greens not get soggy?

Start with the heaviest and most non-absorbent ingredients with the dressing on the bottom of the jar. Work your way up through the lighter ingredients until you end up with the salad greens themselves. As long as your jar does not accidentally tip over, the greens will be protected from the dressing until you are ready to eat.

  • How does everything get mixed together?

When you are ready to eat your salad, just unscrew the cap and shake it into a bowl. In the jar, things will get compacted, so you might have to shake vigorously. Once into the bowl, toss the salad until everything is evenly coated.

  • What’s the best jar to use?

Any canning jar can be used, but a wide mouth jar is the easiest for both packing and unpacking the salad. Pint-sized jars are great for a small side salad, fruit parfaits, overnight oats, pasta salads, etc. Quart-sized jars are good for larger lunch and dinner salads that have a lot of extra toppings and salad goodies.

  • How long will salads keep in the fridge in a jar?

With the lid tightly sealed, these salads can last for up to 5 days. If you plan to add perishable items, such as tomatoes, hard-boiled eggs, avocados, or cooked chicken breast (or another cooked meat), add these items when you are ready to eat your salad to keep them fresh. Another tip, if you have a vacuum-sealer attachment for your jars, vacuum seal the jar and the salads will remain even fresher.