There’s no sprout about it…the nation is divided when it comes to the humble sprout, so this year supermarket Aldi has partnered with renowned hypnotist Paul McKenna, to create the world’s first mass online hypnosis to convert the nation’s 15 million sprout haters into sprout lovers this Christmas.
The 10-minute ‘Save Our Sprouts’ trance, which is available on Aldi’s YouTube channel, could see up to 130 million sprouts saved from the bin on Christmas Day.
In the first ever mass hypnotism of this kind, McKenna uses the power of mind over matter to help viewers create positive associations to the mini brassicas, eradicating previous fears and apprehension regarding sprout consumption.
The announcement comes as research by Aldi reveals:
23% of the nation identify as sprout haters
This rises to 41% of 18–24-year-olds
Bradford is the biggest sprout hating town in the UK (60% dislike them)
1 in 10 Brits (10%) fear that sprouts could lose their place on the Christmas dinner plate for good
Sprouts were ranked as the LEAST favourite component of the Christmas dinner plate
To put the trance to the test, Aldi recruited two sprout hating members of the public to undergo hypnosis with Paul.
By asking that they imagine the texture and taste of their favourite food when eating brussels sprouts, Paul was able to refocus their brains to let go of previous negative thoughts towards the vegetable. After the session, which took approximately 15 minutes, both had been converted into sprout lovers, and happily ate them when offered.
Scott Garson, a Finance Manager from Clapham, London said: “I’m shocked. I think the most surprising outcome of this experiment is that after eating one sprout, I went in for another. I never thought that I would like them, let alone want more! I just hope it lasts and it’s a merry sproutmas.”
Enoch Ogbonnaya, a student from Charlton, London said, of tasting the sprouts: “The flavour has changed…I don’t know how, but it has! My mum is going to be absolutely shocked, and she’s going to be buzzing. Now, when she puts brussel sprouts on the plate, I’ll ask for seconds.”
Paul McKenna says: “I was excited at the prospect of being part of a fun, festive project, with a good cause at its heart. This sprouts hypnosis is all about increasing food choices for Brits over Christmas, at a time that is all about enjoyment. Not only are sprouts an essential part of Christmas day, but they are also a great source of vitamins and minerals. Here’s to coming together as a nation to keep them on our Christmas dinner plates for good.”
Julie Ashfield, Managing Director of Buying at Aldi UK, says: “Sprouts are a polarising vegetable that has the nation divided. Not only will our online hypnosis help customers to enjoy every single element of their Christmas dinner, but it could also help to save millions of sprouts from being tossed in the bin. We hope that sprout haters up and down the country are encouraged to give the hypnosis a go.”
Aldi’s sprout hypnosis is available to view on Aldi’s YouTube channel, just in time to help sprouts haters up and down the country ahead of the Big Day.
In its mission to open up the world of sprouts for all, Aldi has created a collection of mouth-watering alternative sprouts recipes that go far beyond boiled or roasted.
Festive Sprac (sprout-mac) & Cheese
Prep time 15 minutes
Cook time 25-30 minutes
300g pasta shapes (macaroni or other)
200g sprouts, trimmed and quartered
1/2 tsp mixed spice
100g strong Cheddar, grated plus 50g for topping
1 tsp English mustard
30g natural breadcrumbs
30g Parmesan, grated
Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas mark 6. Bring a pan of water to the boil, add the pasta and cook for 2 minutes less than the pack instructions. Add the sprouts for the final 2 minutes. Drain and set aside.
Place the milk, butter and flour in a pan and bring to the boil, whisking as you go to combine the mixture. Simmer for around 3 minutes or until thickened. Remove from the heat and stir in the mixed spice, cheese, mustard and a little salt and pepper to taste.
Combine the pasta, sprouts and sauce and transfer into an ovenproof dish. Scatter over the breadcrumbs, Parmesan and extra Cheddar, bake for 25 -30 minutes until golden and bubbling.
Sprouts in the hole
Makes 24 canapé size
Prep time 15 minutes
Cook time 15 minutes
120g plain flour
2 eggs, beaten
1 tbsp vegetable oil
12 sprouts, trimmed and halved
12 rashers streaky bacon, halved lengthways
Cranberry sauce to serve
You’ll also need a mini muffin tray.
To make the batter; put the flour, eggs, milk and a pinch of salt into a blender or food processor and whizz to combine. Set aside to rest for 10 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 220C/ 200C fan/gas mark 7. Divide the oil in a 24-hole mini muffin tray and heat in the oven for 5 minutes.
Cut each bacon rasher in 2 lengthways and wrap a piece round each sprout half. Carefully bring the bun tin out of the oven and divide the batter between the holes adding a sprout to each. Cook for 15 minutes until puffed up and golden. Cool slightly before serving with the sauce.
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