Archive for the ‘General’ Category
Warning: I’m about to geek out. We’ve been watching “Ugly Delicious,” and, earlier this week, learned about nixtamalized corn. Traditionally, this meant soaking corn in a “solution of limestone or wood ash, and water. This process freed up vitamin B3 and made it a more usable product.” (Read more here.)
Being the nerd I am, I immediately researched places in Denver that engaged in this process. I found only two. I headed to one of them yesterday and picked up tortillas, chips, and tamales. The taste of the chips, in particular, blew us away. The corn flavor really stood out in a way we weren’t used to. Long story short, it would seem that nixtamilization has both health and flavor benefits.
“By soaking the corn overnight, we can bring out more flavor, aromas, improve the nutritional profile, as well as reduce mycotoxins that can be present in ingredients such as corn, coffee, and peanuts.
This simple process first requires making a batch of lime water, then soaking corn kernels or cornmeal in the solution overnight. I use this method before making cornbread, polenta, or grits. Interestingly, corn is still a staple in many American’s diet, but in processed form like high fructose corn syrup and other hidden corn products that flood our supermarket shelves.” (Read more here.)
Want to make your own nixtamalized corn (to use on its own or to grind for tortillas or tamales)? Farm & Forage Kitchen has a simple recipe (that uses a Mason jar!).
How to Make Lime Water
Start with: Spring water, or the best option available to you
Pickling Lime (Get it here)
Directions: Place about a 1/2 cup of the pickling lime into a 1 quart Mason jar, which should be about a inch tall in the jar. Top with water, screw on the lid, then shake. Let the jar stand on the counter for a few hours until the lime settles, leaving you with a mildly cloudy liquid. You can now use the liquid and reserve any extra at room temperature for weeks to months as there is basically an unlimited shelf life.
Soaking the Corn Hominy is made by soaking whole corn kernels. Combine 1 pound of kernels with 1 ½ quarts of prepared lime water. Bring the liquid to a boil and simmer for 12-15 minutes. Allow the mixture to stand at room temperature for up t0 8 hours or overnight in the fridge. Grind and add water to make fresh tortillas, or stir the kernels into soups or stews.
The corn should then be washed in a colander while being rubbed in between your hands to remove the hull and expose the kernel inside.
If soaking cornmeal, use 1 cup of the liquid for every 2 cups of cornmeal. Allow the mixture to stand at room temperature for 12 hours then proceed as needed for your desired recipe.
It’s been a cold and snowy winter for a lot of us! (I’m jealous of those in warm places right now!)
We have so many fun products to make those cold days just a little brighter. My personal favorite is our collection of fun sleeves so you can add hot drinks or soups to your Mason jar!
Now for a giveaway! The winner will receive a surprise package of winter-perfect items for your jars!
How is everyone’s New Year going? Maybe you resolved to eat better? Our sprouting or fermentation lids should help with that! Or perhaps you plan to do some redecorating in the new year? Check out our Mason jar lighting kits or our adorable soap pump lids, which are perfect for a nice home refresh!
How would you like to win $50 to spend at MJL? Click below to enter!
by Mary NadeauHello Mason Jar Fans!
It’s that time of year again — the most wonderful and… the most stressful! I personally see December as my annual Thank-Everyone-Athon! And if you’re like me, then you might be feeling stretched a little thin these days. I know that I end up burning the Yule log at both ends! There’s the decorating. And the baking. And the parties. And the shopping…
You could drive to the mall, play chicken with other motorists over the last parking spot for miles, get jostled around by other frantic shoppers, and wander around for hours in a Holiday Music daze searching for the perfect gift for Uncle Ernie… Or you can sit back, relax in your comfy pants (no judgement here!), sip some eggnog, and click your way to present nirvana!
Here at Mason Jar Lifestyle, we’ve got you covered! Whether you’re shopping on a budget or searching for just the right gift for someone special, we have something for EVERYONE! We also offer FAST, FREE shipping on domestic orders over $29, PLUS you can request a personalized gift card if we’re shipping directly to the recipient.
If you need some guidance on the different materials and straw styles we offer, we put together a bunch of information in Reusable Straws & You to give you some guidance!
So let’s get started!The 2018 Gift Giver’s Guide: Budget: $10 The Essentials – silicone sleeve ($5), drinking lid ($2.50), and stainless steel straw ($2.50)- just dig through your cupboards for a half pint Mason jar or order one from us to compete the set. This is by far the most popular combination at my house – great for kids and grown ups! Shake It Up – shaker tops (2 pack for $3), plus chalkboard labels (16 for $2.50) and a liquid chalk pen ($3) just add jars. This is an extremely versatile gift as the tops can fit on any size Mason jar with a regular mouth and can be used for spices, herbs, sprinkles, crafts, and more! Whether you’re shopping for a cook or a crafter, they’ll love it! Pour It Out – cruet pouring lid ($7) just add jar. This beauty can be used with any size Mason jar with a regular mouth for delicately drizzling oil, vinegar, maple syrup, or anything you need to pour (and not get all over the place!). Divide & Devour – divider cup for wide mouth jars ($8) just add jar. Remember seeing those recipes circulating on the internet for Mason jar salads and overnight oats? Now you can give someone you love healthy meals on-the-go with this divider cup and help them start their New Year off right! Take This Idea To The Bank – piggy bank ($7) just add jar. Our Mason jar piggy bank is adorable, and a huge hit with kids while helping them learn about money! My younger daughter drags her’s around all over the place like a treasured blankie. Twinkle Twinkle Little Lights – solar fairy light lid ($6) just add jar and decorations. Giving the gift of holiday decorations is always well received! These genius little fairy light are solar powered (so no batteries to forget to change!), simply find a jar regular mouth Mason jar and mini ornaments, decorative snow, or pine and holly berries to make a personal gift sure to please anyone on your list! Light Up The Season – various candle holders ($4-$9). Whether you’re looking for a gift involving tapers, tealights, or LED candles we have a beautiful array of options!
Budget: $25 The Sampler – straight straw multi pack & bent straw multi pack ($14 each – includes 6 straws in 3 sizes, cleaner, and pouch). If you have someone on your list who’s new to the Mason Jar Lifestyle, I recommend a multi pack of straws to get them started. Pair it with a few of our fun and festive drinking lids and you’ll still be under budget! The Oops Preventers – leak proof plastic storage lids ($15-$17). These colorful yet durable lids have a silicone liner to keep them water tight and prevent your food and beverages from touching the plastic! Perfect for anyone on your list who’s on-the-go. Tea Time – tea infuser ($15-$17) just add jar. Beautiful and functional, this tea infuser can steep loose leaf or tea bags while you’re on the go, then simply remove the infuser, and add a straw and lid for drinking! Tis The Season For Sniffles – oil rubbed bronze soap pump (add jar) or distressed white foaming soap dispenser ($14-$20). Hand washing never looked so good! Either of these soap dispensers will add charm and elegance to the sink side while helping your giftee keep colds and flu away. Heated Leather Treat – faux leather sleeve topped with a silicone lid ($18) just add jar. This combo will replace all former favorite coffee mugs with its refined style and ease of use. A Pour Gift – pour spout lid ($8) and whisking ball ($3) just add jar. Busy people need on-the-go meals which makes protein shakes and smoothies popular go-to items. These two accessories make drinking thicker beverages easier, neater, and more enjoyable! Our pour spout lids are also great for anyone who shops in bulk and needs a better way to portion. Mix It Up – cocktail starter kit includes cocktail shaker lid & the Mason Jar Cocktail Companion book ($25). A great gift for a host/hostess or any friend who enjoys the occasional drink. Ferment Curious – fermentation starter kit ($12) just add jar. Perfect for someone on your list who’s interested to try fermentation but wants to start with small batches. Burning The Midnight Oil – antique oil lamp lid ($11) just add jar. Add ambiance to any gathering with this beautiful, functional lid. Coasting Through The Season – cork Mason jar coasters ($23 for a set of 4). After suggesting a few adult-beverage themed options, we’d be remiss is we didn’t offer you a way to keep your side tables spill-free.
Budget: $50 Let Your Light Shine – Mason jar pendant light – complete kit ($24-$43). You need to get a gift for someone already rocking the farmhouse chic? Take them to the next level with our hand cut Mason jar pendant light to hang over their farmhouse sink! Decor Galore – gift set for decorators ($38). Perfect for anyone on your holiday list who loves Mason jars (can’t blame them!) and decorating! This set has a smattering of goodies like a chicken wire basket, frog lid (for flowers or pens), tea towels, cork lids and more! Max Mixing – gift set for the mixologist ($42). This gift set will thrill the cocktail lovers on your list with beautiful and useful bar ware plus a book for inspiration! Yes You Can – gift set for canners ($44). This gift set is the perfect mix of fun accessories, useful utensils, and great recipes! Perfectly Crafted – gift set for crafters ($46). Pin cushion inserts, twine dispenser, Mason jar craft idea book, and more. These will be sew appreciated. The perfect combination for crafters of all levels! Scented Greetings – wax warmers in Pinwheel & Faith, Hope, Love designs ($45) jar included. Bring the smells of the holiday to your loved one with this thoughtful gift. Birds Of A Feather – hanging bird feeder ($45). Winter is a great time to start feeding the birds and your giftee will appreciate its charm and how easy to refill it is!
Canners Yes You Can – gift set for canners ($44). This gift set is the perfect mix of fun accessories, useful utensils, and great recipes! Make Boiling A Breeze – collapsible silicone lid rack ($16). Boiling your canning lids is a must — so get the canner in your life this and make the job easier — PLUS the rack collapses so it won’t take up valuable cupboard space. Add Some Flare – colorful silicon canning toppers ($11). Let your canner proudly display their hard work with these playful can toppers! They’re simply adorable. What’s That?! – chalkboard labels (16 for $2.50) for sides, round eyelet labels (set of 12 for $4.50) for tops and a liquid chalk pen ($3). To keep track of it all and be stylish too! Because You Can – adorable market tote ($37). Roomy, well constructed (with pockets!), and ADORABLE! A must for any canner on your list! Or shop all our canning supplies to find just the thing you need!
FermentersFerment Curious – fermentation starter kit ($12) just add jar. Perfect for someone on your list who’s interested to try fermentation but wants to start with small batches. Serious Fermenter – gift set for the at-home fermenter ($52). This set has everything you need — 2 glass fermentation weights, silicone fermentation airlock valve lids with stainless steel bands, PLUS the Fermented Vegetables recipe and instruction book. Just The Lid – silicone fermentation airlock valve lid ($5-$7) just add jar. No more burping – this lid makes fermenting easy and automatic! Shop all our fermentation supplies to find just the thing you’re looking for!
Cocktail Connoisseurs Mix It Up – cocktail starter kit includes cocktail shaker lid & the Mason Jar Cocktail Companion book ($25). A great gift for a host/hostess or any friend who enjoys the occasional drink. Max Mixing – gift set for the mixologist ($42). This gift set will thrill the cocktail lovers on your list with beautiful and useful bar ware plus a book for inspiration! Dazed & Infused – stainless steel filter and lid ($9-$11) just add jar. For the person on your list who’s ready to take their bar skills to the next level with infused spirits.
Decorators Decor Galore – gift set for decorators ($38). Perfect for anyone on your holiday list who loves Mason jars (can’t blame them!) and decorating! This set has a smattering of goodies like a chicken wire basket, frog lid (for flowers or pens), tea towels, cork lids and more! Scented Greetings – wax warmers in Pinwheel & Faith, Hope, Love designs ($45) jar included. Bring the smells of the holiday to your loved one with this thoughtful gift. Top It Off – entire stock of decorative lids ($1.25-$13). You’ll find every style, finish, and function for the decorators in your life! Beautiful crystal topped lids, adorable cut-outs like snowflakes, stars, leaves, and daisies, rustic style lids with handles for some farmhouse flare, cork lids great for displaying dry goods, and so much more! Farmhouse Transformations – hand cut Mason jar lighting shades ($13-20) lighting kit and fixture not included. Transform your builder grade lighting with this one-of-a-kind, hand-cut Mason jar lighting shades. Perfect for the shabby, chic decorator! Let Your Light Shine – Mason jar pendant light – complete kit ($24-$43). You need to get a gift for someone already rocking the farmhouse chic? Take them to the next level with our hand cut Mason jar pendant light to hang over their farmhouse sink! Tis The Season For Sniffles – oil rubbed bronze soap pump (add jar) or distressed white foaming soap dispenser ($14-$20). Hand washing never looked so good! Either of these soap dispensers will add charm and elegance to the sink side while helping your giftee keep colds and flu away. Shop the whole collection of soap dispensers to just the exact look you need! Go All In – toothbrush holder lid ($4) just add jar. Grab a Mason jar toothbrush holder to go along with your soap dispenser and go all in with Mason jars! Hop To It – frog / flower lid ($3.50-$7) just add jar. Bring a beautiful and functional hostess gift to your holiday party with a frog lid! Use it to style a flower arrangement for the party and then the hostess can use it again or re-purpose it to hold pens or makeup brushes.
Entertainers Sipping Up Fun – biodegradable straws ($2.50-$3 for 25 count pack). This is a great gift for anyone who entertains and needs numerous straws on hand for every occasion — seriously we have over 100 different colors so there’s something for everyone! Put A Lid On It – various drinking lids (prices vary). If your giftee has a lot of people over (kids too), then a variety of drinking lids is a must! Guests can choose their favorite and easily keep track of their beverage no matter how crowded the party is! I couldn’t live without my assortment of lids and silicone sleeves when we have playdates at our house — it’s the only way the kids keep track of their cups! You Aren’t An Octopus – black wire drink caddy ($15 holds 6). Now you need to get all those cute drinks or Mason jars full of utensils to the table, but you’re not an octopus — so buy a caddy! They’re cute and practical. Be Our Guest – neck clip card holder ($2) just add jar. An adorable and useful gift as these neck clip card holders can be used to mark seat assignments with thank you treats in the jar or buffet items. Light The Way – solar light lids ($5 on sale $4) just add jar. Grab a few of these for your friends who loves to entertain and they’ll be able to illuminate the way to their door on a cold winter’s night.
Crafters Snazz Up Their Craft Table – entire stock of decorative lids ($1.25-$13). You’ll find every style, finish, and function to please the crafters in your life! Beautiful crystal topped lids, adorable cut outs like snowflakes, stars, leaves, and daisies, rustic style lids with handles for some farmhouse flare, cork lids, and so much more atop useful Mason jars filled with supplies. What’s That?! – chalkboard labels (16 for $2.50) for sides, round eyelet labels (set of 12 for $4.50) for tops and a liquid chalk pen ($3). To keep track of it all but be stylish too! Looking At Life Through Rose Tinted Mason Jars – Martha Stewart glass paint ($6), colored transparent paint by Mod Podge ($8.50), chalky finish glass paint ($4). Complete your crafter’s gift with beautiful paint to personalize their Mason jars and fuel a whole new project! Just Stampin’ Around – adorable Mason jar rubber stamper and delightful bouquet in a jar stamper ($9 each). Let your Mason jar loving crafter create cards, tags, personalized stationary and more with this unique stampers. Crafting Crazy – Mason Jar Madness craft idea book ($13). Inspire and delight the crafter on your list with this idea book. Perfectly Crafted – gift set for crafters ($46). Pin cushion inserts, twine dispenser, Mason jar craft idea book, and more. These will be sew appreciated. The perfect combination for crafters of all levels!
Kids! Kids Love Mason Jars! – silicone sleeve ($5), drinking lid ($2.50), and straight stainless steel straw ($2.50) or bent stainless steel straw ($2.50) just add jar. This is by far the most popular combination at my house and when kids are over for playdates it’s always a negotiation about who gets which sleeve and lid combo. I love that the silicone sleeve makes the glass easier to hold and more resistant to breakage. Grab a personalized set for every kid on your list! Shake It Up – shaker tops (2 pack for $3), plus chalkboard labels (16 for $2.50) and a liquid chalk pen ($3) just add jars. This is an extremely versatile gift as the tops can fit on any size Mason jar with a regular mouth. My girls love them for shaking sprinkles on… well, everything! Buy a set or two and prefill with sprinkles for the kids on your list. Take This Idea To The Bank – piggy bank ($7) just add jar. Our Mason jar piggy bank is adorable, and a huge hit with kids while helping them learn about money! My younger daughter drags her’s around all over the place like a treasured blankie. Weird Science – Mason jar science book ($15). Heatproof, transparent, and durable, the Mason jar is a science lab just waiting to be discovered! This book has 40 mind expanding experiments using every day items. Crafty Kid– Mason Jar Madness craft idea book ($13). Maybe your giftee is more a crafty kid than a scientist. Give them this idea book to inspire and entertain. You may even get a good gift back as a thank you! Divide & Devour – divider cup for wide mouth jars ($8) just add jar. Got a kid on your list who wants to have several kinds of snacks, but those snacks can’t touch?! OH good — it’s not just me! This is the perfect gift to achieve snack harmony!
Cooks Shake It Up – shaker tops (2 pack for $3), plus chalkboard labels (16 for $2.50) and a liquid chalk pen ($3) just add jars. This is an extremely versatile gift as the tops can fit on any size Mason jar with a regular mouth and can be used for spices, herbs, sprinkles, and more! Great for the cook on your list who buys herbs and spices in bulk and needs to organize and store them. Grab A Seat At The Counter – sugar dispensing lid ($9) just add jar. This vintage looking sugar dispenser is reminiscent of 1950’s diners and will have everyone pulling up a chair to your cook’s counter to stay a while. Can You Hold This For Me?! – card holder clip lid ($7) and Mason jar inspired recipe cards ($4) just add jar. Is your cook tired of propping books open, having their cell phone screen turn off (and then getting food all over their phone trying to turn back on), or just plain losing the recipe they just had… Then this is the solution they’ve been longing for! The card clips can double as name cards for guests or labels for the buffet. Spice Of Life – salt and pepper insert lid ($8-$10) just add jar. Stylish and functional for every cook (and food eater too!). Pour It Out – cruet pouring lid ($7) just add jar. This beauty can be used with any size Mason jar with a regular mouth for delicately drizzling oil, vinegar, maple syrup, or anything you need to pour (and not get all over the place!). What A Mess! – adapta cap sprayer lid ($9) just add jar and homemade cleaner. What a mess! is what my husband says after I’m done cooking. Every. Time. I’m a good cook, but I’m a messy cook. So the final step to every good meal is clean up! Use this handy adapter to create your own personal cleaning solution and keep harsh chemicals out of your kitchen! Plus your glass Mason jar won’t leach any additional chemicals into your cleaner — win-win! Moms What’s On My Hand?! – oil rubbed bronze soap pump (add jar) or distressed white foaming soap dispenser ($14-$20). Hand washing never looked so good! As parents, we’re constantly helping with the potty, wiping noses, and finding mystery goo on ourselves. Give a parent you love a beautiful soap dispenser this Holiday Season and tell them you see their struggles and care! Too Big To Handle – JarBar handles ($6 in various colors) just add jar and straw. Help mom get a grip… on her Mason jar with this genius invention! Stop The Insanity – one piece stainless steel storage lids with silicone liners ($16-$19 for a set of 5) just add jars. Tired of watching mom root around in the drawer for the other half of a storage lid to put something away? She is too – so grab her a set of these one piece storage lids! Scented Greetings – wax warmers in Pinwheel & Faith, Hope, Love designs ($45) jar included. Bring the smells of the holiday to your loved one with this thoughtful gift. Running On Coffee & Chaos – faux leather sleeve topped with a silicone lid ($18) just add jar. Mama may be sporting a messy bun held together with dry shampoo but she’s rocking this stylish coffee combo with caffeine to keep her running! Drink More Water?! – fruit infusion lid ($8-$10) or juicing lid ($9-$11) just add jar. Is mom making a New Year’s Resolution to drink more water and less coffee?! Help her out with one of these accessories to sweeten each sip.
Be The Change – coin slot lid in galavanized steel, stainless steel, and copper (pricing and package size varies) just add jar and change. Dad may be the change but he probably doesn’t want it jingling in his pockets. Give him some of these coin slot lids and he can set up coin depositories wherever he empties his pockets at the end of the day. Smooth Your Smoothie – pour spout lid ($8) and whisking ball ($3) just add jar. Parents need on-the-go meals which makes protein shakes and smoothies popular go-to items. These two accessories make drinking thicker beverages easier, neater, and more enjoyable! (ALSO) Running On Coffee & Chaos – faux leather sleeve topped with a silicone lid ($18) just add jar. Let’s be honest, dad needs coffee too! This faux leather sleeve is handsome and adjustable to fit every size hand! Can You Speaker Up A Bit? – Mason jar speaker – “Trash Amp” ($72). This incredible little speaker provides portable, high quality sound that can be enjoyed inside and out Put A Lid On It – drinking lids in basic stainless steel, Colorado State flag design, and camo (package size and pricing vary) pair with a silicone sleeve, straw, and jar for the total package!
Coffee Lovers Sip In Style – straight straw multi pack & bent straw multi pack ($14 each – includes 6 straws in 3 sizes, cleaner, and pouch). If you have someone on your list who’s new to the Mason Jar Lifestyle, I recommend a multi pack of straws to get them started. I love drinking my cold brew coffee through a stainless steel straw! Coffee Mate – faux leather sleeve topped with a silicone lid ($18) just add jar. Can you tell I really like this one?! Perfect for sipping hot coffee on a cool morning. Daily Grind – coffee grinder lid ($17) just add jar and beans. Nothing makes a great cup of coffee like freshly, ground beans! Pair this grinder with a regular mouth jar and locally roasted beans for the perfect coffee lovers gift! Clip It Up – coffee spoon clip ($7), just add jar and coffee. Now you have all that beautiful, fresh ground coffee in your Mason jar, simply clip this spoon on the side for neat and easy measuring every morning! Cold Brew Bliss – stainless steel filter with lid ($9-$11) just add jar, coffee, and water. If you have a coffee lover on your list and they’re not making cold brew — they need this (and the directions on our website). Making cold brew is incredibly easy and it’s less acidic (than hot brewed coffee).
Tea Enthusiasts Sip In Style – straight straw multi pack & bent straw multi pack ($14 each – includes 6 straws in 3 sizes, cleaner, and pouch). If you have someone on your list who’s new to the Mason Jar Lifestyle, I recommend a multi pack of straws to get them started. Sipping iced tea through a straw is a lovely way to spend an afternoon. Hey There, Honey – honey dipper lid ($8-$10) just add jar and honey. Anyone on your list who loves tea will adore this handy and elegant honey dipper lid. Pair it with a jar and some local honey for the total package! A Splash Of Citrus – juicing lid ($9-$11) just add jar and fruit. Add a splash of lemon or orange to your tea enthusiast’s day! Tea Time – tea infuser ($15-$17) just add jar. Beautiful and functional, this tea infuser can steep loose leaf or tea bags while you’re on the go, then simply remove the infuser, and add a straw and lid for drinking! Tea For More Than Two– stainless steel filter with lid ($9-$11) just add jar, tea, and water. These stainless steel filters can play double duty by being used to brew loose leaf tea easily!
As you probably already know, we’re pretty passionate about straws here at Mason Jar Lifestyle! We know there are a lot of options, materials, and styles out there, and it can be a little confusing to pick out the perfect straws to meet your various needs. That’s why we’ve put together this Guide to Reusable Straws just for you! Let’s get started!Why should I use a straw at all?
There are many reasons to enjoy your beverages through a straw: -Straws are fun! Kids intuitively know this, and they’re right! -Are you a smoothie or milkshake fan? Thick beverages can be difficult and sometimes messy to drink without a straw. -Tired of licking off your smoothie mustache, wiping your nose, or cleaning your whiskers? A straw can save you from social embarrassment! -Want a polished pucker? A straw will help keep your lipstick on your lips and off your cup. -Want to avoid that cold going around? Glasses are often handled around the rim, potentially leaving germs behind. A straw can be your cylindrical superhero, keeping you safe and healthy! -On the go? Of course you are! There’s a reason that to-go beverage you bought typically come with a straw – it is much easier to drink this way when you’re driving, walking, shopping, working out, and more! -Spill much? Oh good — it’s not just me! Putting a lid on your jar will help prevent spills, keep out bugs, and add personality. Many lids are made for straws. -Got medical needs? You’ll need to use a straw if your jaw is wired shut or you have other medical conditions making drinking difficult. -Got toddlers? Straws are a better option for children than sippy cups, and paired with a lid, they are still spill resistant. Plus,you can add a silicone sleeve for impact resistance!
Here are two reasons you should opt for jars and straws over sippy cups: -Prolonged use of sippy cups can lead to speech problems. According to WebMD, a sippy cup should only be used briefly as a bridge between a bottle and a straw cup. -Sippy cups are petri dishes. A study by ABC News found that 100% of tested sippy cups had mold/bacteria present and 25% had fecal bacterial as well. Now those are some statistics you don’t want to swallow!
-Protect your pearly whites! Dentists recommend the use of straws, especially for acidic beverages or anything that could stain your teeth. Acid in beverages like soda can eat the enamel on your teeth, causing sensitivity and eventual decay. Drinks that stain teeth, like coffee or tea, will bypass your front teeth and help prevent staining. And drinking with a straw also reduces the amount of time any sugar or acid in your beverage is in contact with your teeth. -You know that breathtaking sensation of being smacked in the face by ice while trying to get the last sip out of your favorite beverage? Yeah… me too. Cylindrical superheros to the rescue again! -Have trouble staying hydrated? We take bigger drinks when we use a straw, we get more liquid and less air in each sip (emptying our jar faster), and it’s just more efficient than picking up and tipping back a cup (I like that I keep my eyes on my screen while drinking!) -Got a FitBit? Mine buzzes me every hour if I don’t get enough steps in. Increase your hydration and your step count with necessary bathroom trips! It’s good for your whole body. -Need stress relief? The act of sucking is an innate, biological way to destress the brain and body — yes, really! -Ever notice drinks just taste better through a straw? Science backs that up! According to Fine Cooking:
“With all of that, let’s think straws vs. no straws. If you were drinking, say, a milkshake without a straw, then you get a big clump all at once. There’s not a lot of room in your mouth, and so not much air circulation. Also, the milkshake is pretty cold, so you won’t get much going on by way of nerve impulses or VOCs.
If you drank the same milkshake with a straw, then you would just get a little at a time. That small amount of milkshake hits your tongue, which heats the relatively small amount of milkshake rather than being instantly frozen by it. The warmed milkshake lets off VOCs, and also your tongue can maintain its tasty chemical reactions. That, combined with all the air that’s flowing through your system as part of the mechanism of sucking liquid through a straw, you have a lot more flavor happening.”Why use reusable straws? Plastic is awful for the environment
It is estimated that in the United States alone, we use 500 million disposable straws every day! That’s a lot of straws!
Straws, as you probably know, are made of plastic. Plastics contain petrochemicals, which are very slow to decompose and leach toxic chemicals into our beverages and our environment. Since much of our garbage ends up in the ocean, these straws can wreak havoc on sea life.
Imagine sitting down to dine at a five star restaurant, full of elegant ambience, cloth linens, and classical music…and then eating with plastic cutlery! You’d probably fall right out of your cushioned chair. We, as consumers, wouldn’t accept a plastic fork and knife from a sit down restaurant, and it’s time we urge dining establishments to make the switch to reusable straws. Until then, you can be the change by BYOS (Bringing Your Own Straw, of course!), and we have just the product for that!Plastic is bad for our health
Pretty much all plastics leach some chemicals into our food and drinks such as BPA, BPS, phthalates, xenoestrogens, lead, antimony, heavy metals and other scary things. These chemicals can be detected in our blood, and we’re only in the early phases of learning about their long term effects. So far, we know that many of them have estrogenic and hormonal effects that may be especially damaging to infants and children, whose young bodies are still developing.
And, I totally hear you…it’s almost impossible to live a modern lifestyle without using any plastic, so like you, we do the best we can to limit our family’s exposure. Glass, stainless steel, and silicone are the materials of choice in our kitchen whenever possible. Switching your drinking glasses and food storage to glass Mason jars is a fairly easy and inexpensive step in this direction.
Plastic straws are also unsuitable for hot beverages and essential oils When food’s heated up in a plastic container, or a hot beverage is sipped through a disposable straw, the heat causes there to be an increased transfer of BPA’s and toxic chemicals into your body. Also, essential oils, because of their potency, can interact with plastics and cause them to break down. Neither of these is good for your health in the long run!Reusable Straw Materials
Stainless steel, glass, and silicone are the three main options, and all are free of BPA, phthalates, plasticizers, and anything else that could leach into your drink. Therefore, all are safer and better choices than any form of plastic. BONUS: reusable straws will last a very long time and replace many, many disposable straws, saving you money in the long run! It’s a win-win!
SIDE NOTE: Sometimes disposable straws are what you need (like for the BIG party) and we get that, too! That’s why we carry biodegradable paper straws! Good for you and our environment (and did I mention they’re super cute?!).Stainless Steel
Stainless steel is used everywhere there is food (think of a commercial kitchen with gleaming metal countertops) and is completely safe for food contact. Some examples of stainless steel in action include the giant storage tanks for milk or beer, most food processing equipment, commercial and home appliances, knives and utensils, pots and pans, insulated mugs, bento boxes, and so much more. Stainless steel is prized for its high resistance to rust and corrosion, strength and durability, heat tolerance, and non-reactivity to all food products.Borosilicate glass
Borosilicate glass is a special type of glass that is both more durable and more resistant to large temperature changes. Like the more common soda-lime glass that Mason jars are made of, it will not leach any chemicals and is safe for all beverages. While it’s stronger than other types of glass, all glass can break if dropped on a hard floor. I have had glass straws roll off my counter onto a wood floor and usually not break, but when they have been dropped on tile or cement they break more often than not. Borosilicate glass generally will break or crack into large pieces instead of shattering, so it is easy to clean up if you do have an accident. A lot of people I talk to don’t want to use glass straws because they worry about breakage, but our family with three young children hasn’t had many problems with them. Yes, we have broken a few straws, but the benefits far outweigh an occasional breakage. Plus they just look really cool!Silicone rubber
Silicone is a safe, green, non-plastic material that is used in a wide variety of industries for a wide variety of uses. It is food safe, naturally non-stick, very durable, and can withstand very cold to very hot temperatures. It is dishwasher, microwave, freezer, and oven safe. For these reasons, it’s getting more and more popular for kitchen items. There is some preliminary evidence that at high temperatures in contact with high fat foods, silicone could leach siloxanes into the food, but all the research I have done indicates it’s completely safe for drinking straws and most other kitchen use. Some people also like silicone straws because they’re gentler on their teeth than metal or glass.Advantages and disadvantages of different types of reusable straws Stainless steel straws Stainless Steel Straws (14) The biggest advantage to stainless steel is its durability. You would have a very hard time breaking a stainless steel straw, and it will last just as long as a spoon or a fork.
Stainless steel straws are thin walled and transmit temperature easily, so if you are drinking a hot or cold beverage, the straw will quickly get hot or cold. I love when my smoothie straw gets cold, but some people don’t care for this effect.
Stainless steel is an opaque material, so you can’t tell visually whether your straw is clean.
Because stainless steel straws are so hard and also so thin, the edges can be pretty sharp. If you accidentally jam one into your teeth or face, it’s going to hurt. For this reason we recommend you never allow children to move around while carrying one, and adults also need to be careful. Our safer, rounded end stainless steel straws were designed with this problem in mind – they are less sharp than other metal straws on the market.
I don’t notice a smell or taste when I am using a stainless steel straw, but some people do.Glass straws Glass Straws (11) I think glass straws are the most beautiful reusable straw option. Nothing can make drinking out of a Mason jar seem luxurious like a glass straw can! They make a lovely clinking sound in a glass jar, and they sparkle like jewels in the light.
Glass straws are quite thick and rounded on the end, so they are less likely to injure you if you accidentally poke yourself. Personally I also find that a rounded, thicker straw feels more pleasant in my mouth.
You can easily see whether a clear glass straw is completely clean or whether some particles didn’t quite rinse clean in the dishwasher. If mine don’t look sparkling clean when they come out of the dishwasher, one quick brush with a straw cleaner, followed by a rinse, gets them there. For me, this is a big advantage and the main reason that I usually reach for a glass straw for myself.
The biggest disadvantage to glass straws is also the most obvious – glass is more breakable than the other options.Silicone straws
Kids love silicone straws, and so do their parents. They are unbreakable and almost chew proof. My kids will destroy any hard plastic straw pretty quickly by chewing on it, but they have been unable to hurt our silicone straws. Recently, I accidentally ran the garbage disposal with a silicone straw in it, and the straw came out unscathed. Silicone can potentially be sliced by the sharp edges of a metal straw hole lid, however.
Silicone straws cannot hurt anyone – they are soft and are flexible.
Silicone can cave in slightly if you suck too hard. This doesn’t bother my kids, but I prefer a more rigid material.How to clean reusable straws
The most reliable way to clean reusable straws is using our straw cleaner with soap and hot water.
They are also dishwasher safe, but a quick rinse might be sufficient. You can also boil them to disinfect them, if you prefer.
My personal cleaning routine is to rinse them after use, put them in the dishwasher, then run a straw cleaner through them and rinse again before putting them away. My dishwasher usually gets them clean but sometimes leaves a little residue, so this ensures they are clean.
I find that a thicker straw is more likely to emerge from the dishwasher fully clean than a thinner straw, and the same is true for shorter straws versus longer straws.What size of reusable straw should I buy?
Here at Mason Jar Lifestyle, we have sized our straws to perfectly fit various Mason Jar sizes, but they are also good for any other drinking glass, mug, or cup. When choosing the best straw size for you, consider which jar size you like to use. There is room for personal preference here, but these guidelines should help your decision making process.Length
We sell straws that are specifically made to be the perfect length for half pint jars (short), pint or 12oz jars (medium), and quart or pint-and-a-half jars (long). We have done a great deal of testing with shorter and longer straws and, for us, the lengths we chose are ideal. If you would prefer that any of our straws were longer or shorter, we would love to hear about it! If the community speaks, we would be happy to change the size next time we re-order straws.
Check out the lengths we’re currently offering HERE!Diameter
Generally speaking, you will want a thicker straw for thicker beverages like smoothies or milkshakes, and a thinner straw for soda, coffee, tea, etc. You can drink faster out of a thicker straw – I like to drink water with a thick smoothie straw. But you can certainly drink anything from any straw! I have used our thinnest straws to drink my Vitamix smoothie, it just takes a little more effort. Our kids drink almost everything with our short safer stainless steel straws.
External diameter is primarily useful to know if you want to be sure that a specific straw will fit in the hole in your lid. Some lids have an 8mm hole, so a 10mm glass straw is not going to fit those lids.
Internal diameter is what matters when you are considering how much you can pull through a given straw. Our stainless steel straws are .3mm or .5mm thick, our glass straws are 1.5mm thick, and our silicone straws are 2mm thick. This is why our thick stainless steel straws have the same outside diameter as our thin glass straws (both 8mm). On the inside, the stainless steel straw is 7.4mm and the glass straw is only 5mm.Bent or straight?
A bent straw more closely mimics the classic plastic straw that we are all know and love, so many people will prefer the aesthetics of it. I like a bent straw for my kids when they’re relaxing on the couch or in the backseat. In those not-paying-attention moments, the bent straw results in fewer spills at our house!
But a bent straw is less likely to come clean in the dishwasher, and they are also harder to clean with a straw cleaner, so I personally prefer to use straight straws.
Or get some of both and see what suits you HERE!
There are many options out there when you’re considering what straw to use, so I always recommend having a variety on hand. That way, you can try different materials, lengths, and diameters with your various beverages of choice! We always love to hear your experiences and feedback! Feel free to post a comment below or pop over to social media and give us a shout! Combo Pack Safer Rounded End Stainless Steel Straws for Mason Jars $12.99 ADD TO CART Combo Pack Thin Bent Stainless Steel Straws for Mason Jars $13.99 ADD TO CART Long Glass Straws for Quart Mason Jars $2.49 – $10.99 Select options
Almost every grocery store has a bulk section. If you can’t remember seeing one at your favorite store, there’s a good chance that you’ve just gotten so used to passing it by, you don’t even see it anymore. That’s certainly what’s happened in my case.
If you’re reading this, you probably like Mason jars. You are at MasonJarLifestyle.com, afterall! You probably also like saving money, and I’d guess that you’re doing your part (or at least see the value) in reducing unnecessary plastic waste.
So I’ll just cut to the chase. Grab some jars and head straight for the nearest bulk section! That’s what we did today, and I couldn’t believe all the awesome products we’d been missing by not embracing this idea sooner. Half the time, we pour our items straight into a Mason jar and toss out the packaging, anyway. Why not skip the middleman? Plus, you can buy the exact amount you want – no more, no less!
Here’s a recap of our experience today, with a few tips mixed in to make your bulk shopping experience a little easier.
Step 1: Bring your Mason jars and lids (we recommend plastic storage lids or stainless steel storage lids) to a cashier and kindly ask them to weigh your jars, prior to filling them. This is called the “tare weight.” In our case, the cashier wrote this weight on our lids with a magic marker.
Step 2: Take your jars (and, if you have one, your sweet four-year-old helper) over to the bulk section and assess which jars you brought (if you brought different sizes) are best for which items you want to purchase. Pro tip: Bring more jars than you think you’ll need. I wish we’d brought at least a couple more. You will find something you’ll want that you weren’t expecting!
Step 3: Fill your jars with whatever suits your fancy. In our case, we filled a half pint jar with pepitas, a pint jar with bean soup mix, and a quart jar with steel cut oats. Pro tip: bring a piece of scrap paper and make a list of your items, along with the item numbers. It will make the checkout process go much more smoothly once you get to the cashier.
Step 4: Head to the cashier! I put my Mason jars and list of items on the conveyor belt first and explained everything to the cashier. I must be honest: The process didn’t go quite as smoothly as I’d hoped. We had to do some simple math (which I don’t mind), because they didn’t have any standard procedures or buttons on their register for taking off the tare weight. Overall, the checkout process took an extra couple of minutes, but that’s because she’d never had someone bring in their own jars before. Going forward, she (and the other cashiers who were watching) will have an easier time with it. I think that they will start to see more and more Mason jars used in the bulk section until, eventually, they won’t bat an eye at it! Let’s all be part of that movement!Cork Lid / Stopper for Mason Jars $2.49 Select options Leak Proof Platinum Silicone Sealing Lid Liners for Mason Jars 10 Pack $14.99 – $16.99 Select options MJL Leak Proof Plastic Storage Lids for Mason Jars $14.99 – $16.99 Select options Shiny Metal Storage Lids for Mason Jars 6 Pack $4.99 – $9.99 Select options Sale! Stainless Steel Storage Lids with Silicone Seals for Mason Jars 5 Pack $6.99-$19.99 $3.99-$19.99 Select options
These new arrivals are absolutely flying off the shelves, and we can understand why! Not only does each pack include a lid in each of our five adorable signature colors, but each lid includes a thick, platinum-cured silicone liner to prevent leakage. The plastic lids themselves are super high quality and thicker than any of others out there! These are the lids you’ve been waiting for!
Want to win a set for yourself? Enter below!
Hello Mason Jar Lifestylers! Today we’re doing a deep-dive into one of the questions that we are most often asked – What is the difference between a wide mouth and a regular mouth Mason jar? Let me start by saying this: one of the greatest things about Mason jars is that there are only two lid sizes: again, regular mouth and wide mouth. This means that any regular mouth lid will fit on any regular mouth Mason jar, and any wide mouth lid will fit on any wide mouth Mason jar. For instance, if you like regular mouth jars and you have kiddos, you can give them their milk in a regular mouth 8 oz. jar with a straw lid at breakfast. You could then wash off that very lid and stick it right on your regular mouth 16 oz. jar and take a smoothie with you to work.
Back to the question, though. What is the difference between these two lid sizes?
The quick, dirty, and literal answer is: about 0.63 inches at the diameter of the jar mouth. But, as everyone knows, it’s not the width of the jar opening that matters, it’s what you can do with it that does. So, here are some of the characteristics, width notwithstanding, that truly differentiate the wide mouth jars from the regular mouth ones:
Wide Mouth Jars: These jars are heralded for their ability to accommodate larger items such as pickles, beets, whole fruits, etc. They are believed to be easier to clean since you can usually fit an entire sponge or hand inside. This attribute, in and of itself, is enough to sell Mason jar enthusiasts on the wide mouth jar. But did you know that the wide Mouth jar is specially designed for stacking? With its flat, wide bottom (I feel you there, wide mouth!) and an equally large top opening, this jar is ideal when space is at a premium, whether being used for storage or for canned goods. *Editor’s Note: We realize that stacking canned goods is a polarizing topic. We will be sharing our thoughts on this at a later date!
Regular Mouth Jars: Most people know and love this more traditional/familiar Mason Jar shape. A regular mouth jar is tapered at both the top and bottom and has a narrower mouth than its cousin, the wide mouth. Many users prefer this type of jar for jellies, salsas, and sauces. They are also great for holding smaller, loose items, such as spices, thumbtacks, or bobby pins as the smaller mouth facilitates the pouring out of the contents. Regular mouth jars can be slightly more difficult to clean, depending on the consistency of their contents (nut butters, for example), and thus slightly less user-friendly. Also, due to their tapered tops/bottoms, they do not stack very well and tend to wobble or tip. This may not be an issue for you, but it is something to consider when choosing which jars to use for your specific needs.
For those of you that are visual learners, check out this gem of a video by Maggie from 2015. Mason Jar Lifestyle was just getting started and she gives you the run-down on the types of jars, specifically wide mouth vs. regular mouth, and accompanying products that MJL offers. This video is an oldie, but a goodie, much like Mason jars (regardless of mouth size) themselves! Enjoy the info and the video and then drop us a line to let us know your preference in jar type.
Also, be sure to join us on our new Facebook Community – Living the Mason Jar Lifestyle. We’re a few hundred members strong and we’re loving the conversations and sharing going on over there. We’d love to have you there with us! Until next time, keep on keeping on with the Mason Jar Lifestyle!
Michelle Kettleborough is a life-loving, Denver-based writer and mother-of-two. She has just recently embarked on the Mason jar lifestyle. Keep up with her chronicles here.
Welcome to the MJL team, Michelle Kettleborough! Michelle is a life-loving, Denver-based writer and mother-of-two. She has just recently embarked on the Mason jar lifestyle. Keep up with her chronicles here.
Hello MJL fans and followers! Congratulations on making it half-way through July and through half (if not more!) of your kids’ summer vacations! With the Independence Day festivities behind us, but several hot, humid weeks ahead, we thought we’d shift gears to share something “cool” about the month of July!
July is Plastic-Free month! We know many of you are doing what you can to reduce your plastic consumption and waste. Some of you, however, may be a little dubious about plastic-free anything being possible. The material is EVERYWHERE – food containers, utensils, bags, toys, the list is seemingly infinite. So, let’s talk about one small step you can make that has a significant impact – ditching plastic straws.
Think about the number of plastic straws you use in a day, a week, or a month. Doing a quick mental tally of my own personal use, I’d say that I, conservatively, use upwards of 20 per week. And don’t even get me started on how many my kids use! Each one of these straws will take up to 200 years to decompose. Two. Hundred. Years. Somehow, this is making the cold, tasty beverages of summer seem a little less refreshing. But what is a person to do? Straws are everywhere!!!
Enter the Mason Jar Lifestyle line of re-usable straws. We’ve got stainless steel straws, glass straws, and biodegradable paper straws! The use of each one of these items not only keeps one more straw from entering a 200+ year journey into our landfills and waterways, but it makes you a participant in PlasticFree July, and can make you feel better about you daily beverage habits. No one needs their cold press latte with a side of environmental guilt!
Our stainless steel and glass straws come in several different sizes, are completely reusable, and have their own cleaning brushes included. They are lightweight, rust-proof, BPA free, and, clearly, contain no plastic. Our paper straws are completely biodegradable and provide a great alternative when you need a lot of straws (picnics, playdates, parties…). Not only are these straws a responsible choice, but they are a convenient one. Keep your straws in your utensil drawer along with your other daily-use items. Keep some in your purse or backpack. Keep some in the car. They take up very little space, weigh next to nothing, and are the perfect alternative to plastic. Once you make the switch, we’re sure you’ll be convinced that re-usable straws are the way to go. And, they’re a great gateway to othersustainable/reusable products! You’ve been warned…😊
If you’ve got any tips or tricks, or want to share your success with non-plastic straws, let us know on the Mason Jar Lifestyle Facebook page or on Instagram! We wish you all a happy, healthy, and plastic-free summer!
Even though those winter storms keep on rolling past, we’re starting to see more and more grass showing through in between bursts of snow. Maybe it’s a tad early to start planning for outdoor parties, but we just can’t help ourselves. A warm, sunny day could sneak up on us, right? Maybe? …Please? (Hope springs eternal!)
We have a number of items available that will give a lovely ambiance to your next outdoor soirée. One of our newer products, which we’re really excited about, is this Mason jar string light set. These would look so great along a window or around the edge of a porch, don’t you think? I keep picturing all the colorful shapes and shadows they would cast on the ground after the sun goes down. Since there’s not always an outlet nearby, you could also consider the option of candles to give your outdoor gatherings a nice glow. We carry several different styles of tea light holders, so you can pick the perfect one to blend with your decor, or you can mix and match if you’ve got a more eclectic style. If you’re not big on the idea of actual candles, you can try some LED tealights to get the same look without having to worry about keeping the flames lit on a breezy evening.
If candles aren’t your thing, we also have multiple styles of solar lights. Leave them out during the day to charge up in the sunlight, and once it gets dark enough, they’ll start coming on automatically. We just added some new styles and sizes, so you can use single bulb or strand lights, or even flickering multi-color ones, depending on the vibe of the party.
One of the toughest things about keeping guests comfortable outside can be keeping the bugs away. Our antiqued oil lamp / tiki torch lid can convert your jars into citronella lamps. You just add some citronella oil, screw on the lid, and light the wick. Set them up in areas where people are congregating, and away go those annoying mosquitoes.
Since your guests won’t be busy swatting away bugs, they’ll have their hands free for drinks. You can serve them in style with one of our stylish jar caddies. They’ll help you carry out up to 6 at a time as you’re making the rounds serving up lemonade, iced tea, or your signature cocktails. The faster you get people served, the more time you have to spend with your friends enjoying the evening!
Okay, maybe that’s enough daydreaming about parties for today. If there’s anything special you’re looking forward to when spring hits (especially if it involves your jars!) let us know in the comment section.