A+ for Orange

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Oh boy! The rain’s beating down on my window, and the skies have turned from blue to grey overnight. We’ve had an amazing summer that lasted until early October here in the Pacific Northwest, but now Autumn has definitely arrived.

I love the fall; it’s my favourite season. The colourful leaves crunching on the ground, the sharp smell of future snow in the air, and all the great root vegetables and squashes in the grocery store for making delicious comfort foods to eat in the warm coziness of your home.

We’re not the only ones to benefit from the fall season and all its bounty: parrots can, too! Yams, pumpkins and squashes help produce Vitamin A, which is an essential part of a healthy bird’s diet. Phoenix Landing writes,

Deep orange vegetables and fruits are rich in beta carotene (yams, pumpkin, carrots, winter squashes, mango, papaya, apricots and cantaloupe) as well as palm oil, leafy greens and broccoli. Make vitamin A and calcium-rich foods a regular staple in your bird’s daily diet.

To get you cooking for your birds, here are a couple great recipes from Michelle “Elle” Magnon, which she has graciously given me permission to repost. Michelle has a fabulous blog called The Happy Cockatoo: Elle’s Avian Cuisine where she shares the many wonderful and nutritious recipes she has made for her own flock. If you haven’t already, make sure to check it out. Thank you for sharing, Michelle!

Parrot Pumpkin Bites

By Michelle “Elle” Magnon. Originally posted here

A fun, healthy parrot treat for the fall season.

2 cups of cooked mashed pumpkin (or sweet potato)
2 cups of leafy greens (chop finely, or just put though the food processor)
1 cup dry old fashioned oats
1 cup millet (I used puffed this time, but you can use dry millet too)
a couple spoonfuls of raw pumpkin seed
sprinkle of chia seed
sprinkle of finely chopped goji berries
dash of ceylon cinnamon

Mix cooked mashed pumpkin, cinnamon, chia, pumpkin seeds, minced goji berries and minced greens. Then mix in the dry oats and millet. Roll teaspoon sized balls, food prep gloves will come in handy for this part. You can chill in the refrigerator few minutes to set their shape.

  • Greens for this batch include collard, mustard, turnip, dandelion, kale and endive.
  • Added some parsley too.
  • You can get the dry or puffed millet from health food stores.
  • I’ve also substituted cooked quinoa instead of using the dry oats.
  • Would be great substituting the chopped goji berries for chopped cranberries too.

Today’s Fall Feast: Pumpkin Bites, Cranberries and Veggie Chop with Quinoa

Healthy Bird Bonbons (with quinoa and veggie chop)

By Michelle “Elle” Magnon. Originally posted here

This is my third time making a batch of these, they are a fun, nutritious treat and the parrots just love them. I vary it each time depending on what healthy ingredients I have in the house that day.

1 cup quinoa
1 cup finely chopped veggies, leafy greens, and peppers (* I used a fresh batch of Chop)
a spoonful of chopped raw unsweetened coconut
a few chopped goji berries
sprinkle of chia, flax, sesame on tops

Rinse and drain one cup of quinoa, then simmer in two cups of water until water is absorbed and let it cool. Mix one cup of plain pumpkin puree into 2 tbs. of whole grain flour ( I used spelt flour for this). Now stir the pumpkin mixture into the quinoa, then add the cup of finely chopped vegetables, leafy greens, and peppers. *Extra ingredients used in the Chop are listed below. (I used a food processor to mince the veggies for this.) I added a few chopped goji berries as a treat for this batch, and a spoonful of raw coconut shreds.

Gently form the mixture into spoonful sized little balls and place in a baking dish. You can use food prep disposable gloves for this part if you don’t like getting your hands all dirty. I then sprinkled a little chia, flax, sesame on the tops. Bake about 20 minutes on 350. I just wanted them to set a little in their shape, but still be moist and soft. Cool and serve, then freeze the extras.

My previous two recipes making these are here and here.

A previous batch with carrots, broccoli and buckwheat groats.

The original batch with cooked quinoa, parsley and raw millet added.

* I have made this recipe before as simple as just adding a cup of chopped broccoli and carrots, so don’t feel overwhelmed by the ingredients list I used for this batch today. I had just made a big batch of fresh Chop so I used that for my cup of veggies to add this time.

  • dandelions
  • kale
  • dill
  • cilantro
  • celery
  • winter squash
  • poblano pepper
  • sweet peppers
  • collard greens
  • carrots with green tops
  • beet greens (just the tops)
  • red chili pepper flakes
  • cooked lentils
  • cooked millet
  • cooked wheat berries
  • cooked buckwheat groats

Pictured are the ingredients in this Chop batch.

More about what Chop is and how to make it:
http://parrotnation.com/2010/08/08/chop-shot-by-shot/

On a final note, with October comes Hallowe’en… and birds like *that* too! Here’s a fun little video showing how a parrot can help with pumpkin carving. Enjoy!

More Squashy recipe links for your birds:

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