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  • Beth Chiodo, RD, LDN, CWC

Re-growing food from kitchen scraps

I always tell my husband that I would be the wife to have if we had another great depression. I admittedly take thrifty to another level. I’ve been known to freeze a tablespoon of sauce for just the right time or make quick work of a tired-looking banana. It’s partially to save money, but at this point, it’s just become sport for me.

My latest venture on the home front is turning trash into treasure…in all forms, including in the kitchen. I’ve been working on re-growing food from kitchen scraps. Yes, you heard me correctly. You can re-grow food from kitchen scraps. Produce is one of the most expensive items on the grocery list, especially if it ends up in the garbage. But, there are a number of fruits and vegetables that you can re-grow yourself using nothing more than a plastic container, some tap water, and the scraps that would have dove head first into the dumpster.

Romaine lettuce is one of these foods that you can regrow from scraps. Just place the end piece that is leftover after you chop it in a bowl or Tupperware container with about an inch of water in the bottom. I started to notice new leaves emerging from the center of the nub by the next day. I’m 6 days out, and here’s what I have:

You can transplant the lettuce into soil and let it continue to grow. You can do the same with celery, avocado, potatoes, sweet potatoes, ginger, pineapple, onions, garlic, even pumpkins and tomatoes. Herbs like basil and cilantro will sprout roots, too. I’m going to keep working on my lettuce and maybe give a pineapple a try next. My 4-year old Brianna loves it, too, and it’s a great way to get kids interested in vegetables. Stay tuned to follow my progress and get other helpful nutrition tips.

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