Today’s Mama Mondays post (a hope-filled tip from this Mama to you!) is about a handy solution for gift giving, personal product creation, and storing your precious homemade sauces, soups, and spice mixes.
As we start researching into healthier food options, it’s inevitable that we run across the dangers of consuming certain foods stored in metal or plastic. One-by-one I started switching from canned foods and plastic-contained foods to foods that are fresh, in a box, or in glass (except freezer & dairy, those are the two categories we have left to change). I switched from canned vegetables to frozen & fresh vegetables, canned beans to soaking and cooking my own beans, and just recently I switched from canned tomato products to fresh tomatoes. I stopped buying olive oil in plastic bottles and only buy it in glass jars; I do the same for Maple Syrup, honey ($20 for 5lbs raw at my local Farmer’s Market), salsa, coconut oil, spices…etc.
So once you start switching to glass jars and bottles for everything, what do you do with them once they are empty? SAVE THEM! The fancier they are, the more you should collect them! Glass bottles and jars make for wonderful, inexpensive, unique and thoughtful homemade gifts. Regular glass jars are great for storing items in the ‘fridge and freezer! Here are some suggestions for different bottles/jars and their uses:
- SALSA JAR: Store 2 cups of homemade chicken stock, homemade soup, homemade yogurt;
- OLIVE OIL JAR: homemade Soap Nuts liquid, homemade vanilla extract, homemade aftershave, homemade “no-poo” (shampoo alternative);
- MAPLE SYRUP JAR: (my favorite jar!) homemade Ranch dressing, Raspberry vinaigrette;
- YEAST JAR: homemade deodorant, homemade infection ointment, homemade toothpaste
- OLD SPICE JAR: homemade taco seasoning, homemade votive candle scented with essential oils
- OLD SAUCE BOTTLE: homemade steak sauce.
Keep in mind that most commercial jars are not tempered like proper canning jars; for example, you’ll need to be very careful when thawing commercial glass jars by increasing the temperature in a bowl of running water very gradually (or by leaving them to thaw overnight in the ‘fridge or on the counter for a few hours) otherwise the bottom will explode off! I’ve lost some precious chicken stock that way 😦 However, these jars are FREE! Technically, you are recycling them within your home. I store mine on the top shelf (it gets quite bare when I’ve made large batches of stock, yogurt, dressing etc).
So have hope, you CAN avoid the dangers of plastic and canned storage SIMPLY AND CHEAPLY by insisting on buying products in glass containers and then REUSING them over and over again to store your own homemade goodies in! It’s much easier than you might think 😉
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