HomeHome improvement13 Foods You Canregrow From Kitchen Scraps

13 Foods You Canregrow From Kitchen Scraps

Transform your kitchen scraps into a sustainable garden with this practical guide to regrowing food at home. Often overlooked, kitchen leftovers like vegetable ends, herb cuttings, and fruit seeds hold the potential to sprout into an array of nourishing greens. Not only does this eco-friendly approach reduce waste and save money, but it also offers an exciting window into the marvels of nature’s lifecycle right on your windowsill or backyard. Join us on this green journey, as we delve into the regenerative world of thirteen everyday foods, demonstrating how easy it is to create a thriving garden from what was once considered waste.

1. Green Onions (Scallions)

If you’ve ever bought green onions for a recipe only to use a small fraction, you know they often wilt before you need them again. The next time this happens, consider regrowing them. Start by saving about an inch from the bulb end with the roots intact. Stand these ends root-side-down in a small glass filled with enough water to cover them. Place the glass in a sunny window and change the water every few days. Within a week, new green shoots should start to grow, which you can harvest as needed. 

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2. Garlic Sprouts

Garlic is a staple in many kitchens, and it’s surprisingly easy to regrow. When your garlic cloves start to sprout, don’t throw them away. These sprouts can be grown into delicious garlic greens. Simply plant the sprouting cloves in a pot with ample drainage, positioning the sprouts to point upwards. Water the cloves and place the pot in a sunny location. In a few weeks, you’ll have garlic greens that can be used similarly to chives, offering a mild garlic flavor to your dishes. 


3. Celery

Did you know you could give your celery a second life? All you need is the base end of the celery bunch. Simply place it in a shallow dish or bowl filled with warm water, ensuring the cut side faces upwards. Place the dish in a sunny spot and change the water every couple of days. After a week, you should see tiny leaves at the center of the base. At this point, you can plant the celery in soil, covering everything but the emerging leaves. 

4. Potatoes

The humble potato has more to offer than you might think. When your potatoes start to sprout eyes, they’re actually begging to be planted. Cut the potatoes into two-inch pieces, making sure each piece has at least one or two eyes. Let the pieces dry overnight before planting them in a deep pot or in the garden, with the eyes facing up. Given the right conditions, these potato pieces will sprout into new plants, giving you a bounty of fresh potatoes.


5. Romaine Lettuce

Lettuce can be quite perishable, but its base holds a secret: the power of regeneration. After using the lettuce leaves, place the bottom in a dish with half an inch of water. Keep it in a sunny spot and replace the water every one or two days. You should see new leaves and roots beginning to grow within a week. Once this happens, plant the base in soil, leaving the new leaves exposed to the sun.

6. Pineapple

While growing pineapple takes time, it’s a gratifying process. Start by removing the top of the pineapple, including a bit of the fruit. Remove the lower leaves to expose the stem and let it dry for a few days. Then, place the top in a jar filled with water, ensuring the stem is submerged but the leaves are not. Place the jar in a sunny spot and change the water every few days. Once roots appear, transfer the pineapple top to a pot filled with soil.


7. Carrots

While you can’t regrow a full carrot from scraps, you can grow carrot greens, which are excellent in salads, soups, and as garnish. Simply cut off the top of the carrot and place it in a shallow dish with a bit of water. Place the dish in a sunny window and change the water regularly. You’ll see sprouts in a matter of days.

8. Avocado

Growing an avocado tree from a pit might not give you fruit quickly, but it’s an exciting project. Clean the pit and suspend it over a glass of water using toothpicks. The broader end should be dipped in the water. Place it in a warm spot out of direct sunlight and maintain the water level. Once the pit sprouts and roots reach about six inches, you can plant it in a pot, leaving half of the seed exposed.


9. Ginger

A robust spice known for its medicinal benefits, ginger can be regrown from its root, also known as rhizomes. Choose a piece of ginger with several eye buds (similar to potato eyes). Soak it overnight in warm water to prepare for planting. Plant the piece of ginger with the eye bud facing upwards in a pot with well-draining soil. Ensure it’s placed in a warm, shaded location, as ginger grows well in partial to full shade. The plant’s roots will soon grow, and within a few months, you’ll have a whole new ginger plant. Harvest it by pulling up the entire plant, taking a piece of the rhizome, and then replanting it to start the cycle over again.

10. Mint

This refreshing herb is as hearty as it is flavorful. To regrow mint, all you need is cutting. Snip off a stem from an existing plant, making sure it’s about 5-6 inches long. Remove all the leaves from the bottom two inches, then place the stem in a glass of water. Change the water every two days to prevent bacterial growth. Once the roots are about two inches long, plant the cutting in a pot filled with potting soil. Ensure the plant gets indirect sunlight, and in a few weeks, you’ll have a thriving mint plant ready for harvest.


11. Basil

Basil is a popular herb in a variety of cuisines. To regrow basil, cut a stem of about three to four inches long just below a leaf node. Remove all leaves from the bottom two inches and place the stem in a glass of water. Keep it in a sunny spot but out of direct sunlight. After about two weeks, when the roots are about two inches long, transplant it to a pot with soil. Basil likes warm conditions and should be watered regularly but ensure the soil doesn’t get soggy.

12. Fennel

Fennel is known for its unique licorice-like flavoring and can be easily regrown from its base. After you’ve used up the bulb, save the bottom part with the roots intact. Place this base in a glass or jar with water, leaving the top exposed. Place it in a sunny window and change the water every couple of days. Once roots and new green shoots start appearing, transplant the fennel into a pot or an outdoor garden.

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13. Onions

Onions can regrow from the small leftover roots. Choose a healthy onion bottom and allow it to dry for a day or two. Plant it in a pot or directly in your garden with the root side down and cover with a couple of inches of soil. Water it regularly and place it in a sunny location. In a few weeks, green shoots will appear, indicating a new onion is growing. 

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By exploring the untapped potential in our kitchen scraps, we’re not just embracing a zero-waste lifestyle and reducing our carbon footprint, but we’re also creating a source of fresh produce at our fingertips. The cycle of life in our foods – from plate to plant and back to plate – is truly magical to witness. This journey provides a unique opportunity to understand and appreciate the sustainability of nature and its regenerative power. So next time you chop vegetables or prepare fruits, think twice before discarding those scraps. They could be the seeds of your next homegrown meal, serving a slice of sustainability straight from your garden to your table.

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