At our house, we’re getting much better with storing and using up produce. In fact, we’ve all but completely stopped throwing rotten produce into the garbage. Now I’m taking it further by actually regrowing vegetables from scraps. In the kitchen window! It’s like my inner gardener has come out to play and not a moment too soon as grocery prices soar and inflation in the U.S. has now reached a 20-year high.
Let’s start with scallions (aka green onions or the lazy man’s onions). They’re extremely useful, deliciously versatile, and dirt cheap. And invariably I either fail to use them up completely before they go bad or I make one of those quick trips to the market, which exposes my impulsive self to at least a few unplanned purchases. But no more now that I have a tiny crop of fresh scallions growing on my kitchen windowsill. It’s so easy to keep the white ends in a glass of water where they sprout and regrow into new, delicious scallions.
While scallions are the easiest vegetable to regrow, this method works with other vegetables.
Don’t expect a full head of lettuce from your windowsill efforts, but you will get a few leaves at a time—enough for a sandwich or other garnish.
Put the stem end of the head, with a few inches of the lettuce intact, in a shallow dish of water. Place it in a window area that gets plenty of sunlight. Keep the water fresh by changing it every one to two days.
A few tender, delicious stalks will regrow—just enough for most dishes that call for celery.
Similar to the steps above for regenerating lettuce, place the stem end in a shallow dish of water, by a sunny window. Change the water frequently.
You’ll get better results with celery when you poke toothpicks into the sides of the celery to prop it up. You want to submerge the celery but keep the bottom from touching the dish to give the roots plenty of room to breathe.
You can grow back the green shoots of a fennel bulb by following the same steps for lettuce and celery., using the bulb end. Place the base of the bulb with the root system, still intact, in shallow water and wait for the plant to begin to re-grow.
A wide range of herbs works well to regrow using cuttings and scraps. Start with a stem that is about 4-inches in length in a glass of water, making sure the remove all leaves below the water level.
If you’re interested in delving more deeply into the subject of regrowing vegetables from scraps, check out 20 Vegetables You Can Regrow from Scraps.
You will learn how to make full use of a plant’s ability to grow new roots and regenerate itself to help you reduce the amount of food waste that you generate in your home.