Food in Jars

My refrigerator is filled with jars—mostly Ball Mason jars. I like to see what’s in the fridge to avoid pushing unrecognizable leftovers to the back, which inevitably get forgotten. Unidentifiable food resembling a science experiment gone bad...very bad.

I remember the vintage glass refrigerator dishes from childhood. Some were so elegant with etchings of fruit or flowers. Always had a fondness for glass dishes.

Ball jars

I recently did a freezer clean-out and unearthed a few bags of frozen blueberries, raspberries and blackberries. I'd already made a pie, however, wanted to make something to tide us over in the winter.

Frozen fresh raspberries

I had bookmarked a recipe some time ago for Berry Jam from Ball Canning and it was a perfect way to use up this assortment of berries into a shelf stable jam.

Mixed Berry Jam

Here’s the recipe for Mixed Berry Jam

This jam is delicious when mixed with cream cheese for a dip or spread. Stir a spoonful into club soda or iced teas for a refreshing twist, or make an ice cream soda or milkshake with jam (you’re welcome). Simply eaten out of the jar a spoonful at a time is my guilty pleasure.

Berry ice cream soda

If canning isn’t your thing, here’s one of my favorite meals in jars.

Salad in a jar

Pack a salad in a jar for lunch or dinner. Layer dressing, raw or cooked veggies, fruit, cheese, your favorite protein, nuts, etc.  Shake it up when ready to eat…right out of the jar.

A forkful of salad 

Of course, there's always Pat's Granola, fresh fruit and yogurt.

Pat’s Granola parfait

I packed my fair share of breakfasts and lunches over the years and granola, fruit and yogurt was my go jar meal, especially when I had a long commute on public transportation. 

And, just in case you’re thinking ahead to the holidays (yikes), here’s some terrific gift giving ideas. Packaged in jars, of course.

Hearty pasta soup mix

Ingredients for a hearty pasta bean soup.

More food in jar ideas:

Incredible Meals You Can Make in a Mason Jar

Recipes for gifts in jars  

Healthy Snacks to Pack in Jars



Curious about the history of Ball Mason jars? Here's a snippet...Ball is one of the most recognized names in home canning. In the early 1900s, there were hundreds of brands of Mason jars, but only a few stood the test of time. Ironically, while it's one of the more iconic products of all time, few people know the history behind the ageless invention. Here's a pint-sized history of the Ball Mason Jar.


Do you have a favorite food story and would like to be a guest columnist on this blog, please let me know.


Pat Bennett is the founder and President of Pat's Granola, a Cleveland based food and lifestyle company.

Pat's Granola is sold online at and is also available at several Northeast Ohio businesses including:

Troubadour Coffee Roasters

Sports and Spine Physical Therapy

Local Flavors Shoppe

Cleveland Hopkins International Airport

Locle Box

Made Cleveland

Mister Brisket

Nature's Oasis Lakewood

Happy Cows Group Share Happy Cows Group Share 

The Corner at The Van Aken District The Corner at The Van Aken District

Sweet Bean Candies Sweet Bean Candies


Listen to Pat's story:

Food Founders Podcast or CLE Foodcast

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