The foods of autumn are bright, fresh and flavorful, which is exactly why I put together this harvest mason jar salad that incorporates so many of my favorite fall ingredients.
Plus, if I had to describe the health benefits of the foods in this recipe in one word, it’d be antioxidants. Cranberries, Brussels sprouts, beets and acorn squash — these are just a few of the ingredients in this recipe that are loaded with disease-fighting antioxidants that work to slow down aging, boost your immune system and protect your body from free radical damage.
If you have trouble packing healthy, well-portioned meals for work, putting together a mason jar salad is a no-brainer. Just layer your ingredients, give it a quick shake and it’s ready to go!
What Is a Mason Jar Salad?
Mason jar salads are portable, compact and perfectly portioned, so you don’t have to worry about eating too much while at work or out of the house.
And instead of having to pack your dressing and more soggy ingredients separately to avoid wilted lettuce, by layering your ingredients in the mason jar and shaking it right before you eat, your salad stays crisp and fresh for hours. Using a mason jar can also save you time because you can prepare several at once.
So don’t worry about packing up lunch for work every night when you’re tired and less likely to make healthy choices. Try this harvest mason jar salad that has a ton of super healthy, crunchy and delicious ingredients.
One serving of my harvest mason jar salad made using this recipe contains roughly the following:
- 280 calories
- 10 grams protein
- 7 grams fat
- 46 grams carbohydrates
- 16 grams sugar
- 8 grams fiber
- 139 micrograms vitamin K (155 percent DV)
- 2,361 IUs vitamin A (101 percent DV)
- 42 milligrams vitamin C (56 percent DV)
- 194 micrograms folate (49 percent DV)
- 0.35 milligrams vitamin B2 (33 percent DV)
- 0.4 milligrams vitamin B6 (33 percent DV)
- 0.27 milligrams vitamin B1 (25 percent DV)
- 0.9 milligrams vitamin B5 (19 percent DV)
- 2 milligrams vitamin B3 (15 percent DV)
- 0.21 micrograms vitamin B12 (9 percent DV)
- 32 milligrams choline (8 percent DV)
- 0.88 milligrams vitamin E (6 percent DV)
- 1.17 milligrams manganese (65 percent DV)
- 111 milligrams magnesium (36 percent DV)
- 222 milligrams phosphorus (32 percent DV)
- 0.2 milligrams copper (31 percent DV)
- 439 milligrams sodium (29 percent DV)
- 2 milligrams zinc (26 percent DV)
- 11 micrograms selenium (21 percent DV)
- 948 milligrams potassium (20 percent DV)
- 193 milligrams calcium (19 percent DV)
- 3.2 milligrams iron (18 percent DV)
Here’s a quick glance at some of the top health benefits associated with the ingredients in this mason jar salad recipe:
Acorn squash: Acorn squash is high in antioxidants that can help to prevent diseases caused by unstable free radicals in your body. Because acorn squash nutrition includes a large quantity of vitamin C, it also helps boost your immune system and reduce inflammation. For this reason, autumn and winter are the perfect time to eat acorn squash because so many people suffer from the common cold or flu during this time of year. (7)
Brussels sprouts: Brussels sprouts are packed with vitamin K that supports the health of your bones and helps with blood clotting as well as vitamin C that boosts your immunity. Eating Brussel sprouts can protect many areas of your body, including your digestive tract, eyes, skin, teeth and gums. (8)
Cranberries: Cranberries contain one of the highest concentrations of antioxidants, outranking other fruits and vegetables like broccoli, spinach, blueberries and strawberries. Eating unsweetened cranberries can help to reduce inflammation, prevent urinary tract infections, fight free radical damage, improve your immunity, fight heart disease and benefit your digestion. (9)
Beets: Like so many of the ingredients in this mason jar salad, beets are also high in antioxidants that help to prevent and fight diseases. They also help to reduce inflammation, and they work to detoxify and cleanse your blood. Some other beet benefits are it’s ability to improve your endurance and stamina and support heart health. (10)
How to Make the Best Mason Jar Salad
For starters, you’ll need four clean mason jars that are ready to go. And if you haven’t done so already, roast your corn, beets, Brussel sprouts and acorn squash in the oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for about 30 minutes.
Then begin prepping this mason jar salad by mixing your ingredients for the dressing. That’s 2 tablespoons of maple syrup, ¼ cup balsamic vinaigrette, 3 tablespoons of Dijon mustard and a sprinkle of salt and pepper.
Give the dressing a quick whisk and then add some to the bottom of each mason jar.
Next, you are going to layer the rest of the ingredients into the four mason jars one at a time. Start with the roasted acorn squash and layer that on top of the dressing. Then add 1 cup of sliced and roasted Brussels sprouts, ½ cup of roasted corn, five small, cooked beets, ⅛ cup of garlic roasted pumpkin seeds, ¼ cup dried, unsweetened cranberries and ½ cup of organic, crumbled gorgonzola cheese.
The last two ingredients to add to the top of your mason jar salad are 2 cups of spinach and 2 cups of arugula.
Right before you’re ready to eat this harvest salad, shake up your mason jar so all of the ingredients come together. Enjoy!
Other One-Bowl Meals
- 4 (1 qt.) mason jars
- 2 cups arugula
- 2 cups spinach
- ½ roasted acorn squash, chopped
- 1 cup roasted brussels sprouts, sliced
- ½ cup roasted corn
- 5 small beets, baked or boiled and chopped
- ⅛ cup garlic roasted pumpkin seeds
- ¼ cup dried, unsweetened cranberries
- ½ cup organic, crumbled goat gorgonzola cheese
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- ¼ cup balsamic vinaigrette
- 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Mix maple syrup, balsamic vinaigrette, mustard, salt and pepper in a bowl.
- Layer ingredients equally into four mason jars in this order: dressing, squash, brussels sprouts, corn, seeds, cranberries, cheese, spinach and arugula.
- Shake mason jar well before serving.