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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 and many more brussels sprouts off the Christmas table over the festive season. In the first ever mass hypnostism 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.

Paul McKenna

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.”

The 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.

Unbel-leaf-able Sprout Cupcakes

Sprout Cupcake

Makes 12

Prep time 20 minutes

Cook time 25 minutes


200g self-raising flour

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

2 tsp mixed spice

175g light brown sugar

2 eggs

150ml vegetable oil

Finely grated zest and juice of 1 orange

150g carrots, grated

100g sprouts, finely shredded

For the frosting;

150g full fat soft cheese, at room temperature

75g butter, at room temperature

75g icing sugar sifted

To decorate (optional);

50g white chocolate

12 sprout leaves


  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/ 160C fan/gas mark 4.  Line a bun tray with cupcake cases.
  2. Sift together the flour, bicarb and spice into a large bowl then stir in the sugar.  In a separate bowl, beat together the eggs, oil, orange zest and juice and then stir into the flour mix with the carrots and sprouts.  Mix until well combined and then spoon into the paper cases and bake for 25 minutes until risen and springy to touch.  Cool on a wire rack.
  3. For the frosting; beat the butter to soften, add in the icing sugar and mix to a smooth consistency then stir in the cream cheese and chill until required.
  4. Melt the chocolate in the microwave or over a pan of simmering water.  Line a plate with parchment paper.  Dip a sprout leaf into the chocolate to coat both sides and place on parchment to set.
  5. Pipe or spread the cakes with the frosting, top with a chocolate sprout leaf before serving.

Tip: The uniced cakes will keep for 3 days in an airtight container but once iced eat the same day.  You can also freeze the uniced cakes.

Bloody Sprout-Mary

Bloody Sprout Mary

A little twist on the classic savoury cocktail. These look great served as shots with ‘sprout snow’ round the rim.

Serves 4

Prep time

10 minutes


20 sprouts, trimmed

400ml tomato juice

To taste; lime juice, sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, Worcestershire Sauce

100ml vodka,


To garnish – 4 sprouts halved and griddled, sprout snow


  1. To make the garnish, heat a griddle pan or frying pan until hot and scorch the halved sprouts.  Thread onto a cocktail stick.
  2. Juice the sprouts retaining the discard for the sprout snow decoration. In a cocktail shaker mix the sprout and tomato juices together, then season to taste with Worcester sauce, lime juice, sea salt and black pepper.
  3. Combine 2 tbsp sprout snow with a pinch of salt. Dip the rim of the glasses in a little water then the sprout snow for decoration.
  4. Add the vodka and ice to the shaker, put the lid on and give it a good shake then strain into the glasses and garnish with the sprouts.

Tip: Excess sprout snow can be used in stir fries, soups or steamed for a couple of minutes and used as sprout rice.

Festive Sprac & Cheese

Sprout Mac & Cheese

Serves 4

Prep time 15 minutes 

Cook time 25-30 minutes


300g pasta shapes (macaroni or other)

200g sprouts, trimmed and quartered

500ml milk

50g butter

50g flour

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

Sprouts in the Hole

Makes 24 canapé size

Prep time 15 minutes

Cook time 15 minutes


120g plain flour

2 eggs, beaten

100ml milk

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.

Christmas Sprout-shuka

Sprout Shakshuka

You can prep this the day before up to the end of step 1, simply cool, then chill and reheat before adding your eggs.  The main sauce serves 4 and you can add up to 2 eggs per person so long as your pan has capacity.

Serves 4

Prep time

15 minutes

Cook time 25-30 minutes


1 tbsp olive oil

1 onion, sliced

1 red and 1 yellow pepper, seeded and sliced

200g sprouts, trimmed and chopped

2 garlic cloves, chopped

1 red chilli, seeded and diced

1 tbsp smoked paprika

2 x 400g tinned tomatoes

4-8 eggs

1-2 tsp sugar

100g feta

Handful coriander, chopped


  1. Heat the oil in a deep lidded pan, add the onion and pepper and cook gently for 10 minutes until softened.  Add in the sprouts, garlic, chilli and paprika and continue cooking for 2 minutes, then add the tomatoes.  Stir well and simmer gently for 10 minutes until thickened.  Add sugar to taste and salt and pepper.
  2. Make 4 wells in the sauce, carefully add the eggs then cover and cook for around 6 minutes until the whites have set and the yolks are cooked to your liking.  Remove from the heat, scatter over the feta and coriander before serving.

Tip: Use leftover cooked sprouts in this recipe simply add them into the pan just before the eggs to warm through.

For more information, please contact the Aldi Press Office on:
T: 0207 479 0910 or