Sprouts and Sprouting
by Valerie Cupillard
(Grub Street, 2007, ISBN 978-1-904943-90-7)
review by Ysanne Spevack
This is a wonderful book that explains everything you ever wanted to know about sprouting your own sprouts from seed, and how to use sprouts creatively to flavor every type of recipe.
Regularly eating sprouts can have a dramatic effect on your general health and wellbeing. Clinical research has proven that sprouts support human immunity, improve digestion, and help prevent serious diseases such as cancer. Packed with micro nutrients, sprouts are as delicious as they are nutritious.
Split into an introductory section and a recipes section, this book has stylish and modern photography, including appetizing recipe shots and practical step-by-step guides.
The introduction explores the nutritional benefits of different kinds of sprouted seeds and grains. There’s a comprehensive section about different store-bought germinators, a guide to easy sprouting using an empty glass jar, and a guide to every kind of sprout you can imagine, including alfalfa, black radish, sunflower, fenugreek, dill and adzuki.
The author seems to relish her subject, enthusiastically sharing her personal experiences with sprouting, whether it’s to let you know that a particular kind of seed is difficult to sprout (carrots) or to share her penchant for a particular flavor (dill).
There are 70 vegetarian recipes split into 8 different sections:
Soups and veloutes
Sauces and dressings
Desserts and fruit
The bias for this collection is modern whole food cooking. There are plenty of ideas for daily treats, but the recipes don’t stop there. Fennel Coulis With Buckwheat Sprouts would be a lovely addition to a more formal meal, and Stewed Apples Stuffed With Sesame Sprouts is absolutely heavenly. Try sprinkling fennel seed shoots onto cubes of yellow melon, or making a simple salad of sprouted red lentils drizzled with walnut oil and seasoned with salt and ground cumin.
This book’s publication is made particularly timely by the USDA’s recent announcement that raw sprouts are now bizarrely outlawed throughout the USA. Thankfully they’re still allowing the sale of packaged raw sprouts, but have completely banned all non-cooked sprouts in restaurants. So please use this book to discover varieties of sprouts that may be new to you, but have been legally enjoyed for centuries all over the world.