12 Vegetables & herbs you can buy once and regrow forever
There are some ingredients I cook with so often I can never buy too many of them, and most of them are produce. Onions, garlic and fresh herbs are staples in a lot of dishes, and they may be inexpensive, but when you use them on a daily basis it can add up.
Some foods are easy to regrow at home from leftover scraps, and some of them can even be grown right on your kitchen counter. Here are 10 vegetables and herbs you can buy once and regrow forever.
When garlic starts to sprout, the little green shoots are too bitter to cook with.
Rather than throwing away sprouted cloves, you can put them in a glass with a little water and grow garlic sprouts. The sprouts have a much milder flavor than garlic cloves and are great in salads, pasta and as a garnish.
Like basil, grow cilantro by keeping the stems in a glass of water, which you should then plant in a pot of soil once they seem long enough. Make sure they get plenty of sunlight.
You’ll see progress in just a few weeks, and will be able to enjoy fresh cilantro in a few months, earning a reputation as the wisest cook in town.
3. Carrot Greens
The ends of carrots you usually chop off and throw away will grow carrot greens if you put them in a dish with a little water. Set the dish in a well-lit windowsill and you’ll have carrot tops to use as a garnish or in salads.
Put a few basil clippings with 4-inch stems in a glass of water and place it in a spot with direct sunlight. When the roots are about 2 inches long, you can plant them in pots to grow a full basil plant.
In as little as 5 days you can completely regrow a full scallion (or green onion) from the scraps. Leave about an inch attached to the roots and place them in a small glass with a little water. In a few days, you’ll have all new scallions.
6 Romaine Lettuce
This trick is a vegetarian’s dream to discover. Take the stem of a romaine lettuce head, set it in a bowl with water (between half an inch and two inches), and leave out for healthy helpings of the sun on the windowsill.
It’s best to change the water every two days or so. In two weeks, you’ll notice new lettuce, and you’ll have a new head of romaine within the month.
It’s an early spring vegetable. When grown properly, you can enjoy its produce for 25 years. Seeds need more time to mature, which means that planting crowns is a smarter option. Don’t overwater your asparagus, otherwise it will rot.
8. Bok Choy
Soak the root end in water, and keep it in a sunny spot. Wait for a couple of weeks, and plant the vegetable in a pot. You will soon notice the new “head” growing out.
Cut off the celery bottoms, and soak them in a shallow bowl or saucer. You will soon notice new leaves, and you can plant your celery after 3 days.
Like onions, ginger root can be planted in soil to regrow, but the process is a lot more lengthy. It can take a few months for it to sprout, and you should be able to harvest a fully grown bulb in 8 to 10 months.
11. Globe artichoke
Artichokes are harvested only when they develop the perfect purple flower crown. You need moist soil, enough sunlight, and a proper drainage system.
Plant artichokes about 36 inches apart. Make sure they get enough sunlight. You need about 2 inches of compost, too.
Use high-nitrogen fertilizer every month. Harvest the artichokes in spring and fall, and only pick the close buds with long stalks.
You don’t have to wind up in a tropical location to enjoy fresh pineapples, but you will need patience. On average, it takes two to three years for a plant to begin producing fruit.
Just slice off the top of the spiky fruit — about a half inch below the leaves — to grow a new one. Trim the exterior of the bottom until you can see bumpy, brown root buds. Make sure no fruit is left over, or it will rot. Dry it out for a few days, maybe even a week, before planting. Then get used to that sweet, tangy flavor (because, hey, you deserve it).