Buying organic food is often a little more expensive, but you can make your budget stretch farther with just a little bit of effort. Since produce is one of the most expensive items you will buy, why not grow your own at home? There are many healthy foods that you can re-grow right in your own kitchen, some with nothing but water.
Here are 21 foods to grow at home to save money and enjoy better health:
- 1. Almost any Leafy Green that still has the lower stalk attached will re-grow in water. This includes romaine lettuce, Bok Choy, cabbage, and more. Use the leaves off the top of the stem, and then place the stem in a bowl of water in a sunny place in your kitchen. In a few days you’ll start to see new shoots coming through the center, and in a few weeks, you’ll have re-grown that delicious leafy plant to harvest for dinner.
- 2. Celery grows again very well from the stalk. Just put the base in some room-temperature water near sunlight, and watch it grow. In about a week you’ll see new celery begins to grow along the base.
- 3. Lemongrass is easy to grow. Simply use the top stalk, and place the root back in a glass of water. Once your lemongrass has been in water for about a week and you see new roots forming, transfer it to a pot with good organic soil. It will grow like any other grass, and then you can enjoy this flavorful and nutritious herb numerous times.
- 4. Bean Sprouts – These little delicacies are wonderful in so many dishes, and you can grow them easily in a clear jar with a little water or a shallow dish. Just be sure to drain them and add fresh water every few days so that they grow without becoming slimy.
- 5. Avocados – Don’t throw the pit away! Instead, replant the seed and sooner or later, you’ll have new avocadoes to eat. This is one of nature’s most complete foods, but it can often cost as much as much $3 for a single organic avocado – so it’s worth growing your own. Here are some health benefits of avocados.
- 6. Potatoes – Whether you crave sweet potatoes or Idaho, you can re-grow them in your own garden! New potatoes can even be grown from the peelings – as long as they have eyes on them.
- 7. Ginger Root – Ginger root will grow well too. Just place your roots with the buds facing up in a pot of soil (with sunlight and water) and you can have ginger on hand for all your recipes year-round. Check out these health benefits of ginger for motivation to grow.
- 8. Turmeric Root – Turmeric will grow just like ginger. Just plant the rhizomes in the ground and watch them grow. You can use 90 percent of fresh turmeric root, and use the rest to grow a new batch.
- 9. Pineapple – By cutting off the top of the pineapple and replanting it, you can re-grow a new one. It may take up to an entire year, but since you were likely going to throw that part out anyhow, why not attempt to grow a new tropical fruit?
- 10. Garlic – Have some garlic that’s been lying around awhile that has started to grow new shoots? Simply plant them and you’ll have fresh garlic in as little as three months.
- 11. Tomatoes – Another plant to re-grow from seed is tomatoes. If you’ve tasted a wonderful organic variety from a grocer or from the farmer’s market, simply save the seed and regrow them. Tomatoes require lots of sun and water, but they usually provide a bumper crop from just a dozen seeds.
- 12. Pumpkin – You don’t have to wait for Halloween to grow your own pumpkin. The next time you have some organic, dried pumpkin seed to nibble on, simply plant a few in a pot with organic soil, place near a window, and water every three to five days. When you start to see a green plant grow and the roots are well established, you can transfer the plant outdoors.
- 13. Mushrooms – Although this isn’t a growing project for first-time gardeners, you can re-grow mushrooms in a pot with well-controlled temperature and moisture by cutting off the head from the stalks and replanting them. By sticking about ¾ of the stalk in the soil and leaving just the top sticking out, a new mushroom will grow.
- 14. Peppers – Another plant you can grow from seed is peppers. Simply save your seeds and find a sunny spot in your garden to transplant the seedlings you start indoors.
- 15. Fennel – By keeping the roots in tact of the fennel plant, you can transplant them to your garden and grow a new batch.
- 16. Onions – Red, yellow, orange, white – any kind of onion can be grown from scraps. Just make sure that you keep at least a half inch of the onion as well as the root to replant. You can grow some new onions to replace the ones you eat in no time at all.
- 17. Citrus Fruits – You can re-grow citrus plants even if you don’t live in a warm climate by saving your seeds and planting them indoors. Enjoy lemons, oranges, grapefruit and more.
- 18. Basil – You only need a glass of water and a piece of basil with at least a four-inch stem to re-grow a new plant. Just place the stem in water and change it every week or so, with the new leaf in the sun. Soon you’ll have roots that can be transplanted to a semi-sunny spot in your garden, or by a light-filled window in your home.
- 19. Cilantro – An amazing spice which helps to detox the body, cilantro can also be re-grown with just a small piece with a four-inch stem. Follow the same instructions as for basil.
- 20. Turnips – Save the tops of your turnips and place them in a glass of water to establish new roots.
- 21-23. Peaches, Nectarines, and Plums – These fruits can all be grown from the seed – or pit – in the center of the fruit. Just save it and plant it in quality organic compost. You’ll be able to grow your plant outdoors if you live in a warmer climate or in a greenhouse if you have harsher winters.
Christina Sarich is a humanitarian and freelance writer helping you to Wake up Your Sleepy Little Head, and See the Big Picture. Her blog is Yoga for the New World. Her latest book is Pharma Sutra: Healing the Body And Mind Through the Art of Yoga.