Archive for April, 2012

Wheat Berries and Lentils Bird Bread

I try to do something different every time I make a bird bread; I use healthy ingredients and just mix up the vegetables, fruits or nuts that I use each time. This is my batch for today.

2 cups flour (I used half spelt and half buckwheat flours for this batch)
1 cup liquid (unsweetened applesauce, pure unsweetened carrot juice, or just plain water)
1/2 cup cooked wheat berries (simmer in water for an hour)
1/2 cup cooked lentils (simmer in water for 20 minutes)
1/2 cup cooked split peas,yellow or green (simmer in water 20 minutes)
1/2 cup raw broccoli florets, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 apple, finely chopped
2 sweet peppers, finely chopped
2 tbs almonds, finely chopped
2 tbs flax seed (ground to powder)
2 tbs raw shelled pumpkin seed
2 tbs sesame seed
2 tbs chia seed
2 tbs coconut oil
sprinkle of cinnamon
1 egg

I first mix the wet and dry ingredients separately; then blend them all together. The parrots often enjoy the wet mash type mix by itself too, I saved this portion of it for the bread.

I baked it at 350 for about 40 minutes, I used a large shallow glass baking pan for this batch. Cooled and cut into small squares. Everybirdie got a piece today, I put the rest in the freezer so they can get a special treat each week.

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Cranberry Orange and Carrot Birdie Treats

Einstein enjoying his birdie treat.

1 cup whole grain flour (garbanzo, quinoa, buckwheat or spelt flours)
1/2 cup dry oats
1/2 cup wheat germ
1/4 cup millet
1/2 cup ground flax seed
2 tbsp cinnamon
1/2 cup carrot juice (100% pure and organic)
1/2 cup water
1 1/4 cup Fresh Cranberries, rinsed then chopped
1/2 cup chopped almonds and walnuts
1 finely ground up orange (I put it through the food processor)
1 cup finely graded carrot
2 tbsp coconut Oil
1 egg, or a few heaping spoonfuls of pumpkin puree (optional)

Just before baking the tops are sprinkled with red pepper flakes, chia and sesame seed

Mix dry ingredients in one bowl, wet ingredients in another bowl, then combine them until all is moist. Half fill mini baking cups. Bake at 350 until golden brown (about 15 minutes) If using a baking pan cook twice as long and cut into small squares once cool.


Aztec enjoying his birdie treat.


Carrot and Lentils Birdie Bites

Birds love fresh warm birdie breads, everyone is enjoying a little piece of this birdie treat today.

2 cups whole grain flours (spelt, quinoa, buckwheat or fava)
2 cups shredded raw carrot
2 cups mixture of water and pure organic carrot juice
1 cup of *cooked green lentils
spoonful of coconut oil
1 tsp cinnamon
couple handfuls of each chia, flax and sesame
a light sprinkling of sesame

Bake about at 350 for about 30 to 40 minutes

* Please note you must fully cook the lentils first before adding them to the mixture. They are very good for your birdie, but only if they are cooked thoroughly first. Raw beans are poisonous to people and birds.


Soaks and Sprouts: A Nutritional Powerhouse for Parrots

Sprouts with organic leafy greens

Soaking or sprouting seeds and grains are an easy way to provide your parrot with fresh live food that is similar to what they would be eating in the wild. All birds, from finches to macaws benefit from and enjoy eating these. There are different sizes and types available for every size of bird. By soaking dormant seeds they germinate and are brought back to life again. Sprouts are like little vegetable plants packed with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, essential amino acids and protein. Did I mention that not only is this one of healthiest additions to your parrot’s diet, but it’s also one of the least expensive too?

Chop with fresh sprouts

Start easy, seeds and grains germinate and are ready to eat after just a rinse and overnight soaking. You can also continue to repeatedly rinse and drain them for a day in order to sprout root tails on them.

Some popular options to get you started:

wheat
oats
spelt
barely
millet
quinoa
buckwheat groats
sunflower seeds
short grain brown rice
sesame seeds
amaranth
corn kernels

Soaking overnight

24 hrs. later: The quinoa is already fully sprouted and ready, lentils are starting to sprout. The rest will take a couple more days.

Sprouts by jar in order: 1st – combo quinoa, millet and wheat berries; 2nd – mung beans; 3rd – almonds; 4rth – corn; 5th – buckwheat groats; 6th – lentils; 7th – garbanzo beans; 8th – brown rice

I must add that soaked almonds are a really special treat and it might be difficult for you to stay out of them yourself. I could never eat a plain dry almond again after having them soaked. Just soak overnight, rinse in the morning and they are ready to eat. They are fantastic, really, try it!

A homemade sprouts cereal: Quinoa, Millet, Spelt, Wheat Berries, Buckwheat Groats, Brown Rice, Sesame and Almond

How to get started:

Buy your seeds and grains from a health food store. Human-grade organic ingredients are safer, fresher and much better quality.

Just use a very small amount at a time. A little spoonful of seed goes a long way, and you want to make small amounts so you use them all up quickly when they are fresh and most nutritious.

Start by inspecting for any damaged broken seeds and toss them out. Put your seeds into a strainer and give them a good washing by running lots of fresh water through them. The fine mesh stainless steel strainers work really well.

Now put them in a clean glass container with plenty of cool fresh water. They will expand so add enough water to cover them completely. Soak for 6 to 9 hours. I prepare them just before bed and they soak overnight.

The next morning give them a good rinsing and drain them well. You now have nutritious, live, germinated seeds. That’s it, it really is that simple. Grains and seeds can be fed after just a simple soaking that bring them to life.

You may also choose to let them grow just a little further until they visually sprout. Rinse and drain very well at least three or four times a day until you see little buds of white sprout tails. This usually takes a day, maybe two.

Of course you can also toss some onto your own salad, sandwich or wrap. They are good in baked breads and in soups too. Just save some for the birds this was supposed to be for them.

Helpful Hints:

You can just use plain glass jars or bowls. Small mason jars work well. Glass is preferred over plastic, since glass can be cleaned and sanitized thoroughly.

Don’t cover your sprouts, they need fresh clean air during the entire soaking and sprouting process. Also keep them in a cool spot and out of direct sunlight.

Be sure to let your sprouts dry out before putting them in the refrigerator so they will keep nicely and stay fresh. Only make what you will be able to use that day or only store them in the refrigerator for a day or two at the most.

Most birds will love sprouts even if it is a new food for them. If your bird is stubborn about trying new foods typically your food on your plate is more enticing to them. Share with your bird and eat with them to get them to try new healthy foods.

Our house guest Happy enjoying veggies with sprouts

Our house guest Kabuki enjoying an adzuki bean sprout

Cautions:

Don’t forget about or neglect your growing sprouts. You’re making fresh live food. You don’t want to grow mold or bacteria in your sprouts. Rinsing very well and draining very well each day is crucial to the well being of your sprouts. Always wash your hands before handling sprouts. Sprouts should smell fresh and earthy, never foul or sour smelling. Toss them out if there is ever any question about their freshness.

As an extra precaution you can give your sprouts a rinse with white vinegar or grapefruit seed extract during your rinsing. Or sometimes I spray my sprouts with some apple cider vinegar just before feeding them to the parrots.

Once you feel comfortable and confident in sprouting you may want to sprout some legumes too. This includes garbanzo beans (chick peas), adzuki beans, mung beans and lentils. Legumes are not safe to eat when raw. You must be sure to sprout them until you see the root tails, this can take three or four days. Also be sure you are sprouting something that is actually safe and okay for parrots to eat. There are toxic beans that should never be sprouted so don’t experiment with something that you don’t know for sure is safe for parrots.

Getting more information:

Sprout People is my favorite sprouting site. They have a wealth of information and step by step instructions for every kind of sprout. They even have detailed instructional videos. I highly recommend them for anyone who is interested in sprouting.

Sprout People

Sprouts section for birds and other pets

Sprouting Seeds for Pet Birds by Patricia Sund

A Birds Best Life

Rainbow Parrots Sprout Mix

Ordering Bird Sprout Mixes

Bird Supplies Sprouts


Invitation to the Chop Party

I was so excited the first time I stumbled across Patricia Sund’s Parrot Nation blog and found her page on “Chop”. All of these years I had spent so much time chopping veggies by hand. It was now time to dust off that food processor that was hidden away in the back of my cabinets. Chop is a fantastic idea and concept, particularly as a means to obtain nutrients from a variety of different foods in every single bite. People are now sending Patricia their Chop pictures from all over the world, and many are organizing Chop parties for avian enthusiasts and bird clubs to get together and bring ingredients for making Chop. If you haven’t made a batch yet it’s time to join the party and give it a try.

http://parrotnation.com/2010/08/08/chop-shot-by-shot/

Also check out the new Chop video Patricia put together of different Chop’s from bird lovers all over the world.

http://parrotnation.com/2012/01/29/new-video-chop-from-the-parrot-nation/

Some of my Chop meals

Chop with fresh fruit and sprouts added at serving time.
Raw finely chopped: broccoli, cabbage, zucchini, squash, cucumber, carrots with tops, celery with tops, ginger roots, sweet peppers, arugula leaves, romaine lettuce, and mustard greens. Fresh apple, pear, strawberry, orange and mango added just before serving. Sprouted: sesame seed, black, white and red quinoa, garbanzo beans, mustard seed, fenugreek, wheat berries, corn, lentils, adzuki beans, and mung beans.

Chop with fresh sprouts added at serving time.
A fine veggie chop of broccoli, cabbage, zucchini, squash, cucumber, carrots including the tops, celery, fresh ginger root, and sweet peppers on a bed of organic greens. Fresh sprouts (sesame seed, black and white quinoa, garbanzo beans, mustard seed, fenugreek, wheat berries, lentils, adzuki beans, and mung beans.)

Sprouts and Chop