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Customer Review

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Almost perfect, 31 July 2013
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This review is from: Sprouters Handbook (Paperback)
History: I’ve been reading and reviewing books on acid/alkaline balance (and diet in general) and have inevitably come to sprouting.

Edward Cairney’s format is my delight. His book is succinct, logically ordered, has tables and an index, but I’m only giving it 4 stars. Why? Firstly, I’m particularly interested in soyabeans, and, although there are a number of references in the index, only one has its corresponding text present, still present, I suspect. Too me, it looks as though it was intended to remove all mention of soyabeans, which led me to a hurried internet search and the purchase of yet another book, Steve Meyerowitz’s “Sprouts the miracle food”, which I’ll review when I’ve had a chance to study it. Thank you, Amazon.

It seems soyabean sprouts are best lightly steamed to be sure of ridding them of any remaining nasties. They’re also problematic to grow. First of all, the dry beans need inspecting minutely for flaws. Even it tiniest blemish that you might mistake for a speck of dirt may be enough to cause trouble later. I use a pair of reading glasses of a much stronger prescription than my own. Then the emerging sprout is extremely fragile. I’m using jars at the moment and try to be gentle. In tipping the newly sprouted beans out on to the draining board for further inspection, I first cover them in fresh water, then tip them into a bowl containing water and cushion their way out in a flood of it. And still the shoots break! Half the beans I start with will be composted or fed to the birds because of hidden flaws or subsequent breakage. An online demo recommended using a special bowl, like a colander, for soyabeans, but where to buy?. I think their relatively high oil content makes these beans the ready rotters that have to be watched so carefully.

Sorry about that digression. The other aspect of Edward Cairney’s I would question is his adherence Edward Howell’s “Enzyme digestion”, which has it that the fundus of the stomach holds food for an hour, where it’ll digest in its own enzymes (if raw when eaten) before the hydrochloric acid pours in and stops it. This is so much at variance from anything “scientific” known to me, that I can’t believe it.

A general problem is how long to sprout your sprouts and whether to do so in the dark or light. Each guru seems to recommend something different.

A matter than seems to be glossed over is keeping your sprout garden warm in the cold weather. Personally, my kitchen isn’t kept at room temperature day in day out throughout the year. The old instructions advised popping in the airing cupboard (where the sprouts would germinate in the dark as in nature), but I haven’t got one. However, I have got cats and therefore spurned cat beds, so I use the heated base of a “moonshell”, which is big enough to take two large litter trays (new), each of which holds 6 Bio-Snacky jars. Thank you, Amazon. Depending on the temperature, I put more or less newspaper between the heater pad and the litter trays, and, I always cover the lot with dark towelling tea-towels whether the heat needs keeping in or not. It worked through last winter. I green the sprouts up for a few hours before use and only grow enough for each day’s use for two people, which saves the rigamole of storage in the fridge. There’s a lot about this in the books.

Finally, I grew beautiful wheatgrass on kitchen towel in 500g Bertolli Spread boxes with holes punched in the bottoms. The trouble was, I found it nauseating, but there again, I’m intolerant of wheat anyway. I think the easiest seeds to sprout are fenugreek, mungbeans and lentilles vertes. Even alfalfa has staged germination, which means half of it will be ready while the rest has just begun.
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