Don’t throw out those carrot fronds! The compost bin can wait – because you can use your leftover veggies to grow your own greens. Scallion bulbs, lentils, and carrot fronds can all come to life again, and all you need is a glass of water and a little patience.
Grow Your Own Scallion Greens
Whether you call them scallions or green onions, these mild onions can be eaten raw or cooked. They add color, flavor and pizzazz to all kinds of dishes, from breakfast eggs to baked potatoes, hearty soups, and summer salads.
You’ll need to save about 1 ½ to 2 inches of the white bulb off of scallions. Stick your bulbs in a glass of water with the roots facing down. Making sure that the water covers the roots entirely, and place in a window that gets light, but not bright sunshine.
Add water when necessary to maintain the correct level, and replace it completely if it starts getting murky. Fresh greens will begin to sprout in three to four days.
Grow Your Own Carrot Fronds
Move over, baby carrots – carrot tops give your dinner table a whole new dimension. Although they can be eaten raw, the green carrot fronds are best when blanched and sautéed, cooked in a stew, or pureed into a pesto with pine nuts, parsley, lemon, and garlic.
To grow your own carrot fronds, you’ll have the best luck when starting with carrot tops that already have some green sprouts emerging (save the baby carrots for the onion dip). Cut the top of your carrots, leaving about one inch of orange. Grab a wide drinking glass or mason jar, and put a layer of clean marbles or rocks on the bottom. Add water until the orange root is just covered, and place the container in a window that receives partial sunshine (not too much).
Check the water level every day, and replenish when necessary to keep the orange part of the carrot just covered. If it gets cloudy, wash everything off and replace the water. In about a week, new carrot fronds will start to grow.
Grow Your Own Lentil Sprouts
One of the first plants to be domesticated by ancient humans, lentils are protein-packed pulses that come in red, green, black, and brown. Their sprouts make delicious additions to sandwiches and salads.
To grow lentil sprouts, start with ½ cup of rinsed, cleaned lentils and place them in a very large glass or quart mason jar. Add three cups of fresh water, and cover the top with cheesecloth. Secure the cloth with a rubber band, and set the container in a warm place for eight hours.
Drain the lentils and rinse thoroughly, then add fresh water and repeat the process – only this time, set the container in a larger bowl and prop it up at an angle. And keep repeating. You’ll rinse and drain your lentils three times each day, for two to four days, or until sprouts are about one-inch long – and ready to eat!
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