I have always been the type of person to prefer snacks over meals. I would much rather munch on various foods throughout the day instead of eating three meals a day. Is that a little unhealthy? Some would say so — I disagree. Snacks are superior, and I stand by that.
You may be wondering what brought on this discussion of snacks. I blame that on something that has been taking entirely too much of my time — TikTok. Let’s be real — who hasn’t fallen victim to the addicting app? I will be honest when I say that it has been the sole cause of my high screen time. I had sworn it off as a waste of time last year, but quarantine made me appreciate TikTok in a new light. Particularly, I was swayed into loving the app due to fellow snack lover and TikTok creator Eli Rallo.
Eli runs an account known as “The Jarr.” This is not your typical jar, nor is it spelled that way. Since 2008, her family has filled a glass jar with various snacks that they share in their household. From Glutino pretzels to Nature's Path's EnviroKidz Peanut Butter, the Jarr is full of various yummy treats — Eli’s favorite being cashews. It’s important to not mistake this snack concoction for trail mix, for this is much more revolutionary. It is so much more than your typical assortment of nuts with mixins of chocolate or dried fruit. With The Jarr, you can customize it entirely to your liking — no need to tolerate unwanted raisins. There are truly no limitations when it comes to creating your own Jarr.
When I first saw one of her TikToks on my For You Page, I was not only fascinated but also inspired. With her 133K+ following, it is evident that others on the app feel the same way. Her TikToks are appealing for many reasons — the satisfying layering of various snacks, the level of creativity and freedom in choosing the mix ins and her engaging voiceovers. Even if you are not an avid snacker, her open and humorous personality will draw you in.
Watching Eli’s videos made me realize that this was the culmination of my food dreams. I quickly realized what I needed to do. I had to create my own Jarr.
My mind quickly began to scramble, thinking of which of my favorite foods to include. I knew I had to include some variation of cashews but what else? Chocolate chips seemed to be too high of a risk of melting to include. The dust of white cheddar Hippeas would make a mess. Oreos — despite being my favorite food — would get crushed or simply take up too much space.
I quickly began to scroll through the entirety of her account to get a better understanding of what makes the best Jarr. She had many variations — a chip Jarr, an M&M Jarr and even a Jarr full of Dunkin’ Donuts’ iced lattes. There seemed to be an underlying methodology to making the perfect Jarr. A pretzel base, a layer of cereal, a novelty nut, various chocolate coated goodies and of course cashews were most often used in her creations.
With my research completed, I headed to my local Target — wearing a mask — in order to make my dreams come true. First and foremost, I had to find a suitable container. Since I would be the only person eating out of it, I settled for a medium sized mason jar with a cute silver closing clasp. Next, I browsed the several snack isles to see which items would be the most appealing to me.
That part took me a little longer than anticipated. I struggled deciding which ingredients to include, from dried fruit to crackers. After narrowing down my snacks, I ended up purchasing seven items. With that, I was set to make my very own Jarr!
On one late Saturday night — with the help of my older sister — I began to assemble it. Just as Eli did, each layer was carefully poured into the glass mason jar. Once all the ingredients were inside, I dumped it inside of a large bowl to give it a good mix. After this, I carefully scooped the contents back inside. Before putting it away in my pantry, I decorated it with a sticker naming it “ZZ Jarr” — a twist inspired by my initials.
I have had ZZ Jarr for almost a month now, and it has gone through a few refills. It has been quite the learning process. What goes inside of one’s Jarr is really a science. Some foods have worked well and others have not. This depends on not only what taste combinations go well, but also which foods hold up the best — whether that be not getting broken, not leaving too many crumbs or even melting onto other foods in the Jarr. It is quite the art to balance taste with so many different types of snacks. However, I have found these three to be the most appealing — Everything Seasoned Cashews, Brookside Acai with Blueberry Flavor Dark Chocolate Candies and Annie’s Organic Friends Bunny Grahams. Together, these deliver just the right amount of sweet and savory flavors in one spoonful.
If I got one good thing out of my TikTok obsession, I am glad it was the creation of my own Jarr. Whether it be a midday pick me up or a late night snack, I have loved each scoop of it. For my fellow snack lovers, I hope this inspires you to rush to your nearest grocery store so you can make your own Jarr. If you aren’t a snack lover, I hope you try this out and it brings you to what I believe to be the right side of food.
Zoya Zahid is a Life Columnist for The Cavalier Daily. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.