Kitchen Hacks for Regrowing Vegetables

As the prices of groceries continue to rise, it is important now more than ever to find creative ways to get the best bang for your buck while enjoying the foods that you love. In addition to using parts of vegetables that might traditionally be overlooked, such as cauliflower leaves and beet greens, one kitchen hack we love is using stems that are traditionally tossed to instead regrow new vegetables. It’s the gift that keeps on giving! 

There are a surprising number of vegetables that can be regrown with the proper cut, a little water, some sunlight, and a lot of love. Lettuce, celery, romaine, leeks, green onions, potatoes, and bok choy are just a few common ingredients that will regrow in water — and we promise you don’t need garden space or a green thumb to do it. 

Lettuce: Leave approximately 2-3 inches of the base. Stand the lettuce on its base in a glass or mug with water about halfway up, in the sun; change the water daily. You should see growth by the next day, and you may even have enough to eat within one week. Bok choy can be regrown this way too. You can also transfer the plant into soil and water it regularly: when it reaches 6-8 inches tall, you will have a fresh supply of new leaves to harvest! 

Green Onions: When cutting, keep at least 2 inches of the base (the white part) with the roots intact. Fill a mug, glass, or jar with about 1/2 inch of water and then add the onions, root end down. Place near a window for sunlight and change the water daily or every other day. In about a week, you can transfer your plants to soil or keep them in the water and begin using them once fully grown. 

Basil and Mint: Enjoy your herbs longer and store them like you would a bouquet of flowers. After purchasing them from the store, trim the stems and place the cut ends down in a jar of water on the counter. Leave it there long enough and the roots will start sprouting! Once they’ve grown to about 2 inches, you can replant in soil. 

And remember, once you’ve gotten a few more growths out of your vegetable odds and ends and they’re done reproducing, make sure to throw whatever is left into the stock pot to make vegetable or chicken broth. Using ingredients fully, wholly, and creatively is one of the best ways to reduce food waste in your kitchen and maximize your nutrient intake to make the days between grocery runs a little more delicious! 


To find out more information on regrowing your food from often tossed plant parts, read Don’t Toss It, Plant It! 12 Vegetables You Can Regrow From Scraps.