Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Jar Uses & Mint Reminders

If you have canning jars around, using them for other purposes can save you from buying a variety of vessels.  I don't want more stuff in my house, do you?  Here's what I do with canning jars (other than can in them).

I love two-quart canning jars.  I discovered them several years ago and have been smitten with them ever since.  While you can can in them (of course), they have other handy uses.

I love to make mint tea in them because I hate the idea of pouring boiling water into a plastic pitcher.  With these jars, I just stuff in the mint, pour the boiling water to cover (they handle the heat just fine) and let it steep.  Once it's ready, I add water and sweetener if I wish and stick the jar in the fridge topped with these lids.

We also use them as water pitchers on our table during meals, to store granola, keep leftover soup in the fridge (they pour nicely), to cure and store pickled red beet eggs, etc.

 I think jars are perfect vases.

A wide mouth pint jar is made for bookmarks.

We use a pint jar to hold our egg money and another to hold our school pencils.  I use a lidded pint jar to store flax meal in the fridge.  They also showcase sea shells beautifully. 

What do you use canning jars for?  I know I must be missing some other uses!

Now.  I mentioned mint tea above.  I hope your mint is as prolific as mine this year.  If it is, you may want to check out our recipe for mint tea (sweetened with stevia) and find out about how making mint jelly went last year.

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  1. I love canning jars, too. Quart jars make wonderful large drinking glasses for ice water on a hot day. I also use different sizes to hold all sorts of different foods, broths and soups.

    I made some mint jelly year before last because our mint was growing crazy. Most of it is still in the cabinet because we don't really eat lamb and can't figure out what to do with it. Any suggestions?

  2. I just LOVE your frugal ideas. I have way too many canning jars floating around. On this warm day, mint tea is definitely in order :)

  3. I know in our house-they act like hillbillies [ no offense taken-my husband is one] and use mason jars to drink out of. My neighbor gave us some pretty Tupperware glasses [ I did not even know Tupperware sold glasses] I am going to toss them the bottoms are like a ball [size of a tennis ball-with a quarter size flat area ] tip--- tip, tip ,I am tired of spills so, I don't mind that they use mason jars for water [ not milk ,I go through a gallon a day know] I AGREE -THEY MAKE GOOD VASES ESPECIALLY FOR MY LILACS.

  4. We are kindred spirits in the canning jar department! A few years ago a dear friend gave me about 50 very, very old jars - I use them for organizing and decorating purposes, much the same as what you show above. I love them!

  5. I just did a post this morning on a way I use canning jars! I keep a pint jar in the freezer and in the mornings I throw smoothie ingredients in, screw on my Oster blender blade set and blend right in my canning jar. I can then drink out of the same jar and have less mess to clean up. No smoothie to scrape out of the bottom of a regular blender glass.

  6. Yes, I second this! I bought some 1/2 gal. jars and the plastic lids and use them every day. I bought them specifically for milk (we buy fresh milk from a farm) and they've been handy in other ways. I use them to make kefir, to store broth etc. They were about 10 dollars at OSH for a set of 6.

  7. Pam,
    I use our mint jelly in PB&J sandwiches throughout the year, but I admit, I use it more often during the winter. I think it's a treat on toast. My favorite way is to get a block of cream cheese and lay it on a plate. Then spoon mint jelly generously over the top. Surround it all with whole wheat crackers and it's a super quick and easy plate to take to a get together. Folks use the crackers to scoop up the cream cheese and mint jelly. It's like a mouthful of summer:-). I also give small jelly jars of it as gifts. Many people have never tasted homemade mint jelly. I hope this is helpful:-).

  8. Our most recent use of canning jars was to put my son's cicada shells in a pint jar on his shelf. He thinks they are the coolest thing and I would like the contained in some manner.

    And I replied to an ad on Craigslist a couple of months ago and now have 3 dozen 1/2 gallon canning jars. I haven't even begun to decide what I'm going to with them all.

  9. I actually drink my sun tea out of a small jar! It makes it taste even sweeter! Good idea on making tea in a jar...I think I'll make some sun tea this afternoon since the sun is finally shining here in Northern California!

  10. Ooooo.... that mint tea!! Looks delicious! Can one ever have too much mint? (Okay, I don't want it invading my other plants, but it would be nice to have a bit more. I'm hoping to plant some in pots that I'm going to sink into the ground. I use those two quart jars for storing left over soup, my raw milk, granola, some cultures, etc. They're wonderful!

  11. I love using canning jars too for various purposes around the house! I do our mint tea/meadow tea in a similar way. I didn't know about those storage lids though! I've been using lids & rings to cover things I want to store. Wow! I always learn something new from you!

  12. I love those big jars too! I have stored dry noodles and beans in them, as well as anything else I can get my hands on. My sister and I are trying to figure out how to make some light fixtures with old canning jars.

  13. I love 2-quart jars! I blogged the other day about using jars as cloches in our little garden (

    I use jars also as leftover containers with screw-top lids. I also freeze in wide-mouth jars. I'm trying to slowly eliminate plastic from our lives. sloooooooowly.

    I need to make mint jelly - we bought part of a local lamb in the spring, so I do have lamb in the freezer.

  14. I store dried beans, pasta and rice in my jars. The half pint jars are great for banana pudding and other desserts! Just use your imagination.

  15. I made the mint jelly! and blogged about it - my photo looks almost exactly like yours :) Can't wait to open it up this winter.


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