The idea of grocery shopping is that you buy your food and then a week or so later, you go back for more. Well, what if you never had to go back from produce again? Yes, you read that right!
Whether you have a yard or not, growing your own vegetables at home is possible. Not only is it possible, but you can also do it just by saving scraps that you would normally just compost. You could be saving money and also saving the planet by not producing food waste. According to the National Institutes of Health, in the United States alone consumers waste 50 percent more food today than they did in 1970.
If we could eliminate some of that waste, save money, and also have fresh food available to us right in our own home, shouldn’t we do it? Absolutely! Check out all of these foods that you can actually regrow from scraps!
Much like an avocado, this one is going to take a little time to bare fruit, (possibly up to two years). After twisting the top off of your pineapple, peel off the bottom leaves and slice the tip of it which may hold some remaining fruit. It’s best to get rid of that because it will rot away during the regrowing process anyway. You want the top to be able to sprout roots. Just above the area where you peeled back the leaves, place three toothpicks into the pineapple and submerge the bottom of it in water. That’s how you get the process started anyway! A pineapple technically isn’t a vegetable, but it is worth talking about!
2. Onions/Green Onions
Onions, (as well as green onions), are super easy to regrow from their scraps. To get it started regrowing, place the root end in water, (but do not submerge the entire end). You will eventually begin to see the top end grow, as well as the sprout end with longer roots. Green onions can be regrown the same way.
Always having fresh herbs on hand is not only fabulous for medicinal purposes, but for culinary purposes as well. You can regrow lemongrass the same way that we just talked about regrowing green onions. Stick the root end in water and voila! You’ll have fresh lemongrass in no time!
Like onions, celery is another easy vegetable to grow from its own scraps. After cutting, place the celery’s base into a shallow bowl of water and place on a windowsill. Change out the water every day and you will begin to see regrowth from the top of the base! Simpler than pie, (actually pie can be pretty hard to make).
5. Lettuce/Bok Choy/Cabbage
Most lettuces, (such as romaine, cabbages, and Bok Choy), can be regrown pretty easily. The process is as simple as eating what lettuce you want, (leaving one inch of leaves at the bottom), placing the base or remaining stem in a shallow bowl of water on the windowsill, and watching your lettuce grow! Make sure that you remember to change the water every one to two days though!
6. Sweet Potatoes
You know when you have had potatoes in the pantry too long and they start sprouting little eyes? If you don’t plan on using them, don’t throw them in the compost bin just yet! You can regrow sweet potatoes from scraps. Simply cut the bottom of the sweet potato off, (around two inches), then place toothpicks one inch apart around the potato one inch from the cut bottom. After, submerge the cut end of the potato in water and watch it grow!
7. Bean Sprouts
Bean sprouts are super easy to grow! Take one tablespoon of beans and soak them in a jar with a few inches of water overnight. In the morning, drain the water and set the beans in a bowl with a towel covering them. Rinse them every day and soon you’ll see the beans starting to sprout!
Ginger can be regrown in three simple steps. Take a chunk of ginger and submerge it in water overnight. In the morning, plant the piece in a tiny pot with moist soil, (continue to water this as you would a house plant until shoots appear. More ginger should be ready to harvest in around a year.
Did you know that one single clove of garlic can actually yield an entire head? Pretty spectacular, huh? In a little pot with soil, place the garlic clove root side down and cover. Place the pot in direct sunlight and let it be outside when possible, (when it’s not too cold). Soon you will notice that a shoot will begin to grow, but it is best to keep it trimmed back, so the clove has time to form an actual head of garlic before harvesting it!
Did you know that you could start growing carrots in water before having to stick them in a pot with soil? Well, it’s true! Save those carrot tops instead of throwing them in the compost pile! Snip back the carrot greens from the top, (leaving about two inches), and leave about one inch of the actual carrot on the top. Submerge the carrot, orange side down, about an inch, (you can choose to prop them up in the cup with toothpicks if you wish just like you would regrow an avocado). For an example, take a look at this super cool video. All that is left to do is watch it grow until it’s ready to be put into the soil, (when the carrot has roots that have grown and all of that).
This is just the tip of the iceberg! There are so many vegetable and foods that you can regrow from scraps, (not just these ten). People have actually planted a few potatoes in a barrel and yield hundreds of new ones. People have started growing their own avocados just by placing the seed pit in water, (normally a part of the avocado that’s composted or tossed). The opportunities are endless!
Now, get to the market, buy that produce one last time, and prepare to plant your scraps!
Image source: Elina Mark/Wikimedia Commons