I’m not a fan of sprouts (the Brussels variety). I’ll eat them at Christmas if they’re cooked with bacon or chestnuts, but otherwise, no thank you. However, if you’re wanting to reduce your food waste and food miles, there is a good kind of sprout – it’s amazing how many vegetables you can resprout to produce more leaves. So, before you throw your carrot tops and spring onion ends away, take a read of this…
Spring onions: This is super easy to do. When you’re chopping up spring onions, cut off the green stalks a little bit further away from the bulb than you would normally do. You’re aiming to be left with about an inch of the bulb. Then put the bulbs in a small glass jar or pot and cover the bottom of the bulb with water – you don’t want to cover any more than that. Leave it somewhere sunny, keep checking the water level so that it doesn’t dry out and refresh the water every couple of days or so. You’ll be amazed how quickly they start to resprout and soon you’ll have lots of new spring onion shoots.
Garlic sprouts: This is a similar process to spring onions. If you have cloves of garlic that have begun to sprout with a little green tip, place the garlic cloves in a container and pour in water until it just covers the bottom of the cloves. You don’t want to cover too much of the garlic cloves, as they will rot. Put the container on a windowsill or somewhere sunny, and within a few days, they will start sprouting. When you cut the green sprouts to eat, leave about a third of the length to regrow. Chop up the green garlic sprouts and use in salads, as a topper for baked potatoes (great with cream cheese or sour cream), or blend and use in salad dressings, soups etc.
Carrot tops: You can eat carrot tops! Use them as a garnish for stews in the same way that you would use parsley, cook them into soups (they’re great with spinach soup), stir fry with other vegetables or make carrot pesto (there are plenty of recipes for this online). You’ll need fresh carrots that have a little bit of green growth at the top. Cut about an inch or two off the top end of the carrot and place it in a bowl. Pour in some water, covering about half of the carrot top and place the bowl or pot on a windowsill. Again, keep the water topped up and change the water every couple of days. Within a week or so, the tops will begin to sprout.