Are you looking for some quick, easy lunches that you can prepare in advance but that tick all the healthy boxes? Lunches you can have on the go, at your desk or even out and about. Lunches that you can prepare in bulk and stock in the fridge to see you through for a few days?
Jam jar salads might be the answer for you!
I’ve been meaning to give these a go for ages but only got around to it recently. I bought a stash of large jam jars from Amazon and a range of bits and bobs to layer in the jars. I was really pleased with the way they turned out and they were both filling and tasty.
You can basically add whatever you fancy, but I used the following:
- Spinach leaves – full of vitamins, antioxidants and minerals. Spinach has an extremely high nutritional value and is rich in antioxidants. It is a good source of vitamins A, B2, C and K, and also contains magnesium, manganese, folate, iron, calcium and potassium.
- Cherry tomatoes – Cherry tomatoes are miniature versions of traditional beefsteak tomatoes, but they are equally as nutritious. In addition to the 1.3 grams of protein, 1.8 grams of fiber and 20 milligrams of vitamin C in 1 cup of cherry tomatoes, you also get a healthy dose of other vitamins and minerals essential for good health.
- Sesame seeds – The many health benefits of sesame seeds are due to its nutritional content, including vitamins, minerals, natural oils, and organic compounds which consist of calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, manganese, copper, zinc, fiber, thiamin, vitamin B6, folate, protein, and tryptophan.
Green olives – These contain high levels of vitamin E.
Quinoa – Quinoa is one of the most protein-rich foods we can eat. It is a complete protein containing all nine essential amino acids. Quinoa contains almost twice as much fiber as most other grains. Quinoa contains Iron. Iron helps keep our red blood cells healthy and is the basis of hemoglobin formation. Iron carries oxygen from one cell to another and supplies oxygen to our muscles to aid in their contraction. Quinoa contains lysine. Lysine is mainly essential for tissue growth and repair. Quinoa is rich in magnesium. Magnesium helps to relax blood vessels and thereby to alleviate migraines. Quinoa is high in Riboflavin (B2). B2 improves energy metabolism within brain and muscle cells and is known to help create proper energy production in cells. Quinoa has a high content of manganese. Manganese is an antioxidant, which helps to protect red blood cells and other cells from injury by free radicals.
Tuna – tuna fish has very high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, which help to reduce omega-6 fatty acids and cholesterol in the arteries and blood vessels.
Pea shoots – Pea shoots are a great source of three chemoprotective agents: folate, antioxidants and carotene. Folate helps produce and maintain cells and protects against DNA damage. One cup of pea shoots provides about 35% the daily value of vitamin C and 15% the DV of vitamin A. They are also an excellent source of vitamin K, providing 66% the DV from a one cup serving. Pea shoots are dense with the antioxidants and phytonutrients needed to support the body’s complex inflammation system. Pea shoots have an outstanding nutrient to calorie ratio and offer a good amount of dietary fiber, which helps control body weight and regulate the metabolism. Though they may not directly induce weight loss, they remain a great addition to an effective weight loss program.
Flaxseed – Naturally gluten free, these have been found to aid weight loss, improve digestive health, lower cholesterol and improve the health of skin and hair.
Sweetcorn – Sweetcorn is loaded with lutein and zeaxanthin, two phytochemicals that promote healthy vision.
Mixed beans – Aside from protein, complex carbs and fiber, beans contain a powerhouse of nutrients including antioxidants, and vitamins and minerals, such as copper, folate, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, potassium and zinc.
I’ve been making about three days worth of these jars at a time, which seems to be about the right balance in terms of keeping everything nice an crisp.
There are all sorts of possibilities in terms of what you could add and combinations of things that could provide a tasty and healthy lunch. Is this something you would try? What would you include?