There’s no doubt about it: groceries are one of the most expensive necessities we regularly purchase. A great way to reduce expenses at the checkout counter, is to grow your own food. Start a garden, small or large- your tummy and your pocket book will thank you for it. Here’s another idea; have you heard of re-growing your fruits and veggies from scraps? If not, you’re in for a treat!
We don’t live in a Star Trek world where we can simply ask a food replicator to make a salad from thin air. However, we can regrow some favorite foods from the bits we’d normally throw away. This is a great project for the kids! Read on for a list of delicious foods you can re-grow from kitchen scraps.
18 Fruits & Vegetables You Can Re-Grow from Kitchen Scraps:
Perhaps the easiest veg to re-grow, all you need to do is collect the pepper seeds! Plant them in pots in direct sunlight, or outside if it’s warm enough. They grow fast and don’t need a lot of attention. Just make sure you save some seeds from your harvest to repeat the process!
Lettuce, cabbage and Bok Choy are easily re-grown. Take some “throw-away” leaves, put them in a bowl with a small amount of water and place them in direct sunlight. Lightly mist them a couple times weekly. In 3 – 4 days, roots will appear, at which point, you can transplant them into good, organic soil.
This is one of the easiest veggies to re-grow and it’s done using a part we almost always discard. Cut off the base of your celery (where all the stalks join). Put it in a bowl with a small amount of warm water and place that in direct sunlight. Within a week, leaves should appear & thicken at the base. Transplant it then and you’ll soon have fresh celery!
Lemongrass is wonderful for cooking and for home brewed teas. It’s also simple to re-grow. Take some leftovers that still have intact roots. Put them in a glass jar or bowl, making sure to cover the roots with water. Place in direct sunlight and you’ll see new growth in about a week, after which you may transplant your new lemongrass.
Lop off the top of the fruit, strip of some of the lower leaves, exposing about an inch of the base. Let this dry out for a couple of days. Now place this in a jar or wide mouthed cup of water. Fill the water so it just touches the base of the pineapple. Place in direct sunlight. You can even set it outside if the days are warm, but bring it inside at night. Change the water every other day, keeping the level such that it just reaches the base of the pineapple. In a week or so, you’ll have roots and can transplant it. If you’re in a cooler area, grow your pineapple inside.
Simply wash the large seed after you remove it. Using toothpicks or other support material, balance the seed over a jar or bowl of water. Make sure the water covers the bottom one inch of the seed. Keep your seed warm, but don’t put in direct sunlight. Check daily, adding water to keep the bottom inch covered. In about 6 weeks, roots and a stem will grow. Let the stem grow to 6″, and then cut it to 3″. Leaves will follow shortly, at which point you can transplant the seed. Leave about half of the seed above ground.
We’ve all seen “eyes” growing on potatoes. You can use these to re-grow potatoes from peelings. Take peelings of about 2″ that have about 2 – 3 eyes each. Dry them overnight and plant them 4″ deep into the soil with the eyes facing the sky. In a few weeks, you’ll see new potato plants.
Re-growing sweet potatoes is a like a mix of potatoes and avocados. Cut the sweet potato in half and balance it over a bowl of shallow water. In a few days, it will grow roots and start sprouting on top. Twist off the sprouts when they’re at least 4″ long and put them in a bowl of water. Roots will grow from the sprouts. When they’re about 1″ long, plant them.
It’s super simple to keep a supply of this super food on hand. Take a piece of ginger with buds on it and plant it, buds facing up. About a week later, you’ll see new roots and shoots. Pull it up and use your fresh ginger. Be sure to save a piece to repeat the process!
All it takes is one clove to re-grow garlic. Take one clove from the head you get when you buy garlic. Plant it, roots down in direct sunlight. If you can, keep it outside during the day. Soon, you’ll see new shoots. Once the shoots have developed, cut them back. This causes the plant to grow a new bulb of garlic. Harvest it, use it and save one clove to re-grow more!
Just cut off the onion’s root, leaving a half-inch of onion attached. Lightly cover this with soil and place in direct sunlight. Green onions are also easy: take the white part, with roots attached, and put in a jar of water in direct sunlight. Change the water every three days or so; the green part will grow. Cut what you need for use and let it continue growing.
Bean sprouts are easy to grow. Take about a tablespoon of your chosen beans and put them in a jar. Add just enough water to cover them and leave overnight. The next morning, drain the water and replace the beans in the jar. Cover the jar overnight using a towel and rinse the beans the following morning. Repeat this until they sprout and grow to the desired size. Many people do this with wheat berries and mung beans.
Just like peppers, tomatoes can be re-grown from seed. One difference is that you need to rinse the “gel” off and dry the seeds. Plant them in containers. When you see new growth of about a few inches, transplant them into your outdoor garden. In colder weather, just do this indoors in direct sunlight and water about three times per week.
All you need is one stem, about 4″ long. Put it in a jar of water, keeping the leaves above the water. Make sure it has plenty of light, but not direct sunlight. When the roots are about 2″ long (a few days to a week), transplant your new basil.
Again, all you need is a stem. Put it in a jar of water in bright light (windowsills are great!). When you get roots of about 2″ long, transplant it and in a few weeks, you’ll see new, harvestable sprigs of fresh cilantro.
This one takes some time. Keep the cherry pit in cold storage to encourage germination. This is easy: clean it well, bury it in rich, nutrient-dense soil and put it in a covered container in your fridge. In about 12 weeks, you can transplant it outside.
This is an even longer-term project than cherries, but worth the wait. It works for peaches, plums and nectarines. You won’t see fruit for a couple of years, though. Dry the seeds very well and plant in nutrient-dense soil in direct sunlight. Then wait.
Like cherries and peaches, you’ll need patience for this project. Clean and dry the seeds very well. Plant them in nutrient-dense soil and wait for a couple years to get fruit. If you live in a colder area, you can do this inside! Just choose Meyer lemons, which are smaller plants. It will still take a couple of years to get fruit from these dwarf trees.
7 Additional Foods You can also Re-Grow:
So, the next time you think of just throwing away certain food scraps, remember that you can re-grow some fresh fruits and veggies with those scraps and save on the grocery budget. Have fun experimenting!
4 CommentsLeave a Reply
I must do this for my class and give idea to Girl Scouts.
Let us know how it goes. 🙂
Do you know zone I’m in ..?..I’m in Northern Pennsylvania..?
Hi Linda, Pennsylvania planting zones are mostly in the 5b to 7a range. You can determine your exact planting zone based on your zip code here: https://www.kellogggarden.com/blog/growing/how-to-find-your-planting-zone/. Happy Gardening!