If you’re interested in saving a bit of money, and enjoying the benefits of growing your own food, you might be interested to know there are certain foods that you can grow directly from scarps that you’d usually throw away.
More interestingly still, you can quite happily grow these in a container of water alone – that means there’s no need for soil, or transplanting to a garden, simply pop them into a container of water and let them do their thing…
There’s plenty of reasons, but the most important ones to me are:
(1) It’s absolutely free.
You already bought the vegetable. All it costs is a few tablespoons of water… but if you’re smart about it, you can re-use water you’ve already used for boiling pasta or while you were waiting for the shower to get hot.
(2) It’ll trim your grocery budget.
Granted, you won’t get a huge harvest out of any of these items, but it’s still food and every little bit helps. Even if it’s a few leaves of lettuce to scoop your tuna salad with, it’s food you didn’t have to buy!
(3) It makes organics more affordable.
If you start with organic food, you’ll grow organic… so you’ll reap the benefits of organic greens without actually paying for them!
(4) It’s easy.
Do I have to explain further? I mean, stick the plant in water and watch it grow. Really – it’s that easy!
Note that I only listed vegetables that legitimately grew in water and water alone. Sure, there’s plenty more that can START in water and then be transplanted to soil and yes, beans will sprout in water, but unless the vegetable will grow into more vegetable that can be eaten as-is with only the use of a cup of water, I kept it off this list.
Here are 10 different foods that you can regrow using nothing but water…
Cut off the bottom of the stalk and place in a small bowl of water. New growth begins from the center in 1-2 days with significant growth in less than a week!
Place the root end in shallow bowl of water and watch it grow from the center. Be sure to harvest on the smaller side to get the best flavor.
You can’t regrow an actual carrot, but you can regrow the greens! Place the cut-off end of a carrot in a shallow bowl of water. Harvest the greens as they grow and add to salads.
Cut off the bottom 2″ of the stalk and place in a small bowl of water. New growth begins from the center in 3-4 days. It might take awhile for a full stalk of celery to grow, but you’ll get great growth in the center for flavoring dishes. If you don’t know what to do with the leaves, dehydrate them and make your own dried celery powder.
Cut off the bottom 1″ of the base so that the roots are intact and place in a small bowl of water.
Garlic chives are the green that grows from a clove of garlic and can be added to dishes that traditionally call for green onion chives like salads and baked potatoes. Place a garlic clove in a small cup and add water to the bottom without submerging. Roots will grow in a few days and shoots will grow shortly after!
Tip: Garlic starts to lose it pungent flavor when the shoots grow, so if you find a rogue clove in your fridge or pantry starting to shoot, place it in a cup of water to grow chives instead of throwing the clove away!
Keep the white part of the onion with any roots that are in still intact. Place in a glass with water and you’ll have a never-ending supply of fresh green onion!
Cut off the bottom 2-3″ of the stalk and place in a cup of water. New growth will come from the center of the plant. Usually only the green part of the leek is used in cooking, but it can be used interchangeably with onions for a delicious, mellow flavor.
Cut off 2-3″ from the bottom and place in a tall container with 1/2″ or so of water. New lemongrass shoots will grow from the center.
Cut off the bottom of the head of lettuce and place it in a small bowl of water. New growth begins from the center of the in as little as 3 days and you’ll have a new half-head of lettuce in about 2 weeks. I’ve heard romaine re-grows best, but I’ve had success with green leaf and red leaf lettuce too.
Got more scraps?
There’s plenty more vegetables that will regrow using just a small scrap of the original food. These listed below can be started in water, but should be transplanted to dirt for full growth and harvest.
And of course, you can save the seeds/pits from apples, cherries, lemons, nectarines, peaches, peppers (sweet and hot), plums, pumpkins and tomatoes to grow your own new vegetables!
We have several heads of lettuce regrowing on our kitchen table, which makes for a pretty and practical centerpiece! If you had a shelf near a window, you could keep all your plants there and just harvest when they’re big!
Just think – if we did all of the above, we might not ever have to shop at the grocery store again!
If you’re looking for more frugal living tips check out – DontWasteTheCrumbs
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