Regrowing From Food Scraps

Millions of tonnes of food and drink are binned in homes across the world each year. Here are a couple of ideas on how to store food to minimise spoilage and tips on how to plan meals and portions to cut down waste:

One exciting way to turn waste food into a positive is to plant and regrow vegetables from leftover kitchen scraps. The range of veggies you can recycle in this way might surprise you, and many offer a relatively low-maintenance way of starting or complementing a vegetable patch in your garden. Here are three examples of foods that you can regrow without too much effort, rather than just scraping into the bin.

Celery: When you cut the crisp stalks from a head of celery, don’t discard the base where the stalks come together. Put the stump (cut side up) in a jar or dish of slightly warm water, preferably in sunlight on a windowsill. After just a few days, you should see the beginnings of both roots and new leaves growing. At this point it’s ready to plant in fertile garden soil or a pot of compost. Keep your celery well watered for the first few days and eventually you’ll be able to harvest the stalks for use in salads, soups and other dishes.

Garlic: If you have a couple of leftover garlic cloves, don’t leave them to shrivel, but plant them, point up, in good, preferably well-composted soil. With fertiliser and frequent watering, roots will develop and the cloves will start to sprout long, green stalks called scapes. Removing the scapes can help the garlic bulb grow nice and fat – the scapes themselves can be eaten and have a subtle garlicky flavour, ideal in salads or chopped into stir-fries.

Spring onions: If you mainly use the green stalk of spring onions or scallions, put the white, bulbous end in warm water and change the water every couple of days until you see the roots starting to develop and new growth from the cut top – you may be surprised at how quickly they regrow! Transfer to your garden bed or a pot, or just continue to grow them in water on your kitchen window sill until you next make a salad or cook a stir-fry.

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