Farmer’s markets, roadside stands and maybe even your own garden patch are now overflowing with greens, reds, yellows, oranges, purples and blues of local seasonal veggies and fruits brimming with antioxidants.  These compounds play an important role in preventing cancer, heart disease or premature aging because they fight free radicals which cause oxidative stress and therefore breakdown of your cells.    This can deplete your immune defences, damage your muscles and make you more fatigued.

Oxidization is a natural part of metabolism  – about 1-2% of your cells are damaged just by daily living.  But when you are exposed to toxins – like pesticides and other chemicals in health beauty and household products, pollution, processed and poor food choices, stress – the process of oxidation and the circulating of free radicals in your body can speed up or get out of control.

Even exercise can stimulate more free radical activity -and while I am not advocating giving up your daily run or playing that game of tennis, boosting your antioxidant quotient will ensure the benefits of exercise are not overshadowed.

I don’t know about you but I have no restraint when it comes to shopping for vegetables and fruits. For some people, it’s shoes or electronics.  For me – produce!  It’s  soooooooo tempting to buy some of everything – the taste sensations, the rainbow of colours, the potential for experimentation- irresistible!

Each time I visit a farm stand I come home with more veggies than our household could possibly eat.  But then, how do you keep all this beautiful produce fresh and edible all week long?  By creating a Salad in a Jar!

Salad in a Jar allows you to assemble a number of salads all at once – each with a different flavour profile – and keep them fresh by packaging in mason jars.  Properly layered in an airtight container this salad will keep fresh for 7 -10 days!

So when you go overboard at the farmer’s market this week, spend an hour prepping all your veg and assembling a full week’s worth of lunches or dinners and you’ll be boosting your health status and saving time and money too.

Here’s how to do it:

In a clean, dry mason jar (500ml or 1 litre), layer your salad in this order:

From the bottom:

  • Layer 1:  Pour in your favourite DRESSING
  • Layer 2: add in HEARTY ingredients:  carrots, beans or chickpeas, cucumbers, peppers, radishes, fennel, broccoli, cauliflower, onions etc.
  • Layer 3: add LIGHTER ingredients: quinoa or other grains, seeds, nuts, peas, mushrooms, tomatoes, fruits like berries or dried fruits
  • Layer 4:  GREENS: lettuce, spinach, beet greens, arugula, etc

Screw on lid and refrigerate until ready to eat.


  • Choose wide mouth mason jars – easier to stuff and to eat from.
  • When about to eat, tip upside down for a few minutes so that dressing mixes in – or pour into a bowl.
  • If adding other proteins – meat, eggs, fish , tofu – do it when you are going to eat the salad.  These ingredient do not keep fresh as easily as the others.

PS – if you try this idea, send me a photo of your masterpiece and I’ll share it with my readers.