An easy way to prepare make ahead meals in a jar
I’m all about saving time in the kitchen, aren’t you? I was introduced to the concept of meals in a jar about 10 years ago by some friends at church. They made me a gift of a cutely decorated, quart size mason jar, with all the fixings to make chocolate chip cookies. My family loved it because all we had to do was add a bit of butter, mix and bake. Easy Peasy!
Then I purchased the book Make-A-Mix by Karine Eliason and started saving money by making my own ready made “master mixes”. I just love this book. It is hard to choose my favorite recipe, but the Quick Mix found on page 21, is the one I use the most. I make it in smallish batches that will last about 12 weeks on the shelf. You can use it in muffins, pancakes, biscuits and even doughnuts.
I consider these master mixes to be en essential part of my food storage plan. I purchase ingredients in bulk and make them into a series of quick, healthy meals for my family. It saves me time and money and gives me quality control over the ingredients I’m feeding my family.
Now I have added another layer to my meals in a jar repertoire, and best part – these healthy meals are just add water too. In fact most of them cook in 20 to 25 minutes on the stove top. Now that’s magic in my book. I love having the ability to pluck a jar off the shelf and have dinner on the table in less than 30 minutes.
What’s the secret? Freeze dried and dehydrated foods from Thrive.
If you are searching for a reliable and conscientious company to purchase food storage items – Thrive is it. Their foods are non-GMO. All the cans are BPA free and there is no added sugar, salt or nitrates on the fruits and vegetables – just fresh, great tasting, freeze dried produce.
In addition to master mixes, your new food storage plan could look like mine. Every month I set aside a certain amount of my food budget and purchase enough product to make 12 meals in a jar. I’m rotating through certain recipes that I know my family will eat. Each jar contains 6 servings and, so far, they have all been under $2 per serving.
Here’s one that will soon be your family favorite –
Chicken, Broccoli and Rice Casserole Meals in a Jar
Ingredients for each jar:
1 cup long grain white rice
1 cup freeze dried THRIVE Chicken
1/4 cup freeze dried THRIVE Cheese Powder
1/4 cup THRIVE Veloute Powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup THRIVE Butter Powder
1 tsp all-purpose seasoning
1/4 cup dehydrated onion
1 cup freeze dried THRIVE Broccoli
1/2 cup freeze dried THRIVE Celery
Layer all the ingredients, in order, into a quart size mason jar and tap down as you go. I just bang mine on the counter, but you can also use a butter knife to get all the items in. The goal is to start with the most bulky item (rice) and add a powder that will work its way into the extra space.
You can add a 300 cc oxygen packet or use your FoodSaver to remove the air before sealing the jar. This will give your easy to prepare dinner a shelf life of 5-7 years. So far, ours are flying off the shelf long before we get to an expiration date. The key is to make these be meals in a jar that your family will love.
Bring 7 cups of water to a boil in a large skillet. Empty the contents of one jar into the water and stir. bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer. Simmer to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally until the rice is cooked.
You’ve probably seen these pretty mason jars, layered full of mouthwatering food on Pinterest. (here’s my Meals in a Jar board) I’m not so worried about how pretty they are, but how much food I can get inside of them. That means that my “layers” are not so photogenic…
Click here to order THRIVE Foods and find out about the monthly Q. You will love the convenience of creating your favorite meals in a jar, using Thrive foods, and having healthy meals at your fingertips. It’s like magic.