Ever wonder how you could make your favorite vegetables last longer? You can, just by saving your vegetable leftovers and regrowing them in water. It’s a simple, cost-saving way to get the most of your veggies, keep your fridge replenished, and reduce your grocery bill!
For many vegetables, you only need to place the scraps into a bowl of water and they’ll start growing on their own. Of course, you should make sure that the container you use is appropriate for the size of the vegetable, and that you check the vegetable every day to see if it still has enough water. We’ve listed some examples of commonly eaten vegetables below, but keep in mind that this method of regrowing can work for other vegetables as well, such as cabbage, fennel and leeks.
Lettuce is one of those staples that tends to get used in all kinds of meals year-round, so chances are you’re buying a head of lettuce once a week or so. Cut back on your lettuce purchases by first cutting off the bottom of the lettuce head you already have at home. Then put the section in a small bowl with shallow water, about a half-inch. Then just leave it on a well-lit window sill, and replace the water every few days. Halfway through the first week, check out the center to see if anything’s growing. You might be pleasantly surprised by what you see! After about 2 weeks, you should have a new half-head of lettuce, so when you have enough green leaves sprouting up, eat away!
Celery is one of the easiest foods to grow from leftover scraps. Just cut off the bottom 2 inches of the stalk, and place the stalk in a small bowl of water. Much like with the lettuce, make sure to keep the bowl in direct sunlight for as long as possible each day. After about 3-4 days, you should notice regrowth happening in the center of the stalk. Be patient while the celery growth process happens in that center, and you’ll be rewarded.
If you tend to top your food with green onions a lot, this is a pretty simple way to ensure you always have some around. Keep the white part of the onion with any roots that are still intact. Drop the roots in a narrow drinking glass with enough water to cover them, and move the onion around so the roots are pointing down. Put that on a window sill that gets some sunlight. Make sure you change the water out once every couple of days so the roots don’t get greasy. Within about a week, you’ll have a brand-new set of green onions!
People love their carrots, but they don’t often make use of the entire vegetable, discarding the carrot tops. Stop the waste and grow your own greens for a salad! When you prepare your carrots for consumption, leave about an inch of carrot with the carrot tops. Then put the cut-off ends in a shallow bowl of water, leave them where they can get sun, and watch those greens grow! Within a few days, you’ll see sprouts coming out of the carrot tops.
It’s amazing what you can do with a few vegetable leftovers, a little loving care and water. And just think of how much fun you’ll having bringing your vegetables to life!
For more vegetable gardening tips, visit www.americanlifestylemag.com/grow.