Most agree that there is nothing like home cooked and if that food is cooked with plants and vegetables that have been grown indoors, there is no restaurant in the world which can match up to that taste and satisfaction. In a world where fruits and vegetables are mass produced to feed the teeming millions, the craze for organically produced fruits and vegetables have increased.
When it comes to growing edible plants at home, many prefer a rooftop garden or a garden in the backyard of the house. And since now we are more aware about the side effects chemical fertilisers and pesticides can have on our body, having green fingers has become a necessity more than a hobby.
Top 16 Edible Plants That You Can Grow Indoors
Avocados have become an essential part of any cuisine nowadays and when you know that you can grow your very own supply indoors, it definitely boosts your culinary skills. Avocados are rich in healthy fats and also contain Vitamins E, B6 and carotenoids. This fruit is a treasure of health. A regular consumption of this fruit ensures that you are saved from the risk of cancer, eye degeneration and heart diseases.
This versatile vegetable is known to be a boon for your eyes and in addition to this property; it can also be easily grown indoors. Carrots are also known to contain minerals which include potassium, folate, manganese, niacin, and vitamins such as B6, K, C and A. Some carrot seeds and a pot or a window box with holes beneath are enough to give you your own crop of carrots which are rich carotenoids.
3. Garlic Greens
Garlic though strong and pungent in smell is a valuable member of the Allium family which is known to help you fight cancer. Regular consumption of these greens can help you overcome heart diseases, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. These garlic greens can be easily grown indoors and used as scallions. A moist soil and well lit area ensure that your greens appear in about a week.
The days are over when lemons would only be used to make lemonades. This little and yet magical fruit with a fruity and citrusy aroma is a must have in any kitchen and cuisine nowadays. Whether it is a salad, a main course meal or a dessert, lemons, which are rich in Vitamin C have found a fitting place in most cuisines today. They also contain antioxidants which reduce the risk of heart diseases too.
5. Mandarin Oranges
Another member of the citrus fruits family is the Mandarin Orange. These fruits can be used in your cooking or can also be consumed just as they are. Rich in Vitamin C, antioxidants, calcium, magnesium and fibre, these fruits can be grown indoors easily when you buy small trees. Planting these trees in pots with holes underneath and in rich soil ensures that you get the fruits successfully.
Doctors have always emphasised the consumption of eating our greens and if you can grow your own big bowl of green right indoors, you can be assured of a steady supply of your Vitamins like K, A and C. Radishes, Kale, Beets, Basil etc. can be grown with the purchase of the seeds and planting them in a shallow tray with moist soil and lots of sunlight.
A rage among vegetarians, Mushrooms too can be easily grown indoors and are so versatile and low maintenance that they can grow in a laundry basket even. A versatile and important ingredient in cooking, mushrooms can give the most mundane dishes a twist and an explosion of flavour. And being rich in fibre, antioxidants and vitamins like vitamin C, also helps you to fight cancer.
8. Salad Greens
When referring to salad greens, we generally take into consideration iceberg, spinach, red leaf, arugula, romaine etc. Like Microgreens, salad greens too give you a bowl full of nutrition. They contain folate and iron in addition to vitamins such as C, K and A. You can either use seeds or start to grow your own batch of salad greens indoors and when you do so, ensure that the soil remains moist but not wet.
Scallions belong to the Allium family which helps you prevent cancer and also protect the body from free radicals. They are so easy to cultivate that you do not even need seeds to grow your batch of Scallions indoors. By taking a bunch of scallions and tying them with a rubber band and placing them in a glass of water will give you your own crop, but do remember to change the water every day.
While the debate continues if tomatoes are fruits or vegetables, you can take heart in the fact that in any form they are equally healthy. Known to contain Lycopene, tomatoes are rich in antioxidants and can ward off coronary heart disease. Either green or red, tomatoes are a valuable addition to your daily diet either in salads or main courses.
When cooking an Italian meal, you cannot manage without this herb. But Italian is not the only cuisine which can benefit from an herb like basil. Blessed with anti-inflammatory properties, basil is an herb which contains eugenol oil. This oil helps the swelling in your body to stop, as it blocks the enzymes which are responsible for this. This can be grown with seeds or starters and with warm temperatures and lots of sunshine; you can successfully grow basil indoors.
Trust chives to instantly give a colourful twist and texture to your dishes. Filled with antioxidants and phytochemicals, Chives contain vitamins like A and C which are essential to keep you healthy. They can be grown indoors without a fuss, in a 6 – 8 inch in diameter pot. Make sure to keep the soil moist and place the pot in a shaded area.
Also known as coriander leaves, Cilantro can be grown easily indoors with the help of coriander leaves. Cilantro leaves can easily pep up your salads and curries and is used across cuisines. Rich in carotenoids, this herb is also a rich source of Vitamins like Vitamin A, which protects the body against stroke, cancer or the risk of any other heart ailment.
Often considered to be Asian in its origin and use, Ginger is also used to calm against nausea, inflammation and motion sickness. Ginger can be used in its raw form to in salads and as a garnish which helps ease sore muscles, arthritis and even prevents the growth of cancer causing cells. Just a chunk of ginger placed in a pot and in ample sunlight will give you your very own crop of fresh ginger grown indoors.
Apart from being used as a garnish, the herb Mint is also capable of running the show itself. It can be used in mint teas or in salad dressings which help in digestion and can also treat hangovers. Plenty of sunlight and lots of moist soil ensures that this bright green herb blossoms in your house or apartment too and makes your dishes come alive.
The herb which is known for its scent and for being rich in carnosic acid, Rosemary is again a favourite herb with chefs all around. The carnosic acid found in Rosemary is an antioxidant which is useful in improving the cholesterol levels and also helps limit weight gain. An alkaline soil and a mixture of potting soil and coarse sand make Rosemary cultivation easier.
All these fruits, vegetable and herbs can be grown indoors without a fuss and are a ticket to your health.