Did you know that certain vegetables can be regrown from their own scraps? It’s super easy and fun to do, and a great project for the kids, too. In a way, it’s like having endless free veggies. Now, if only I can figure out a way to do the same thing with money!
Celery: Cut off the entire base of a celery bunch a couple of inches from the bottom. Eat the celery stalks.
Place the base in a shallow dish of water. Replace the water every couple of days. Once the celery sprouts in a few weeks, it can be transferred to a garden. You can then cut off individual stalks as needed.
Avocado: Instead of using the old toothpick method, which is ugly and problematic, fill a small container with rocks and just enough water to sit the seeds into. After the seed sprouts, replant outside. Take care where you plant it, as avocado trees can grow quite large.
Lemon grass: Look for bunches that still have a few roots intact. Strip away the outer leaves and place in a glass of water to sprout.
Root Vegetables: Potatoes and sweet potatoes can be sprouted. If you have a potato that’s been around a bit too long, you’ll notice it’s begun to grow sprouts from its “eyes.” Cut the sprouts out, leaving some potato around them, and plant in soil. Taro root and celery root can be sprouted from their bases.
Green Onion: Don’t throw away the roots at the ends! Place them upright in a glass of water and they’ll start growing again. Replace the water every couple of days. In a couple of weeks you’ll have a whole new onion to eat.
Romaine Lettuce: Use the same method as the onions: place the bottom in a shallow bowl of water. Replace the water every couple of days. You can cut off individual leaves as needed.
Leeks: Again, use the same method as the onions: place the root end in a shallow bowl of water. Replace the water every couple of days.
Fennel: Sometimes we want only a little bit of fennel for a hint of flavor or for a garnish. Place a bulb in a dish of water, replace the water every couple of days, and cut off bits as needed.
Garlic Sprouts: Don’t just cut out garlic sprouts and throw them away: they’re edible if you grow them out a bit. They have a milder, less abrasive flavor than fresh garlic and make a great garnish. Put the sprouts in a small jar with enough water to cover the bottom of the jar. Within a couple of days, they’ll grow roots, and the sprouts will grow up to a few inches tall. When they’re about three-inches tall, you can trim off about a third of the shoot.
Sick of winter? Can’t wait to get out in the garden? Your kids will love taking charge of and caring for their window sprout gardens. Your family can enjoy fresh veggies, grown for free, all winter long. It’s a fine lesson in indoor gardening and frugality!