Ingredients:

Dry Ingredients–
  • Hemp Seed
  • Chia Seed
  • Flax Seed
  • Coconut Flakes (unsweetened)
  • Red Pepper Flakes
  • Pecans, chopped
  • Walnuts, chopped
  • Almonds, sliced or chopped
  • Dried Fruit (raisins, apricots, mango, etc)
  • Steel Cut Oats
  • Millet, sprouted
  • Pine Nuts, chopped
  • Pistachios, chopped
Cooked Ingredients–
  • Small Red Beans
  • Great Northern Beans
  • Navy Beans
  • Lentil Beans
  • Chickpeas
  • Black-eyed Peas
  • Baby Lima Beans
  • Quinoa
  • Wild Rice (or any long grain rice)
  • Pasta (chickpea, lentil, bean pastas if available)
Fresh Raw Ingredients–
  • Bok Choy
  • Kale
  • Baby Spinach
  • Mustard or Collard Greens
  • Broccoli Florets
  • Cauliflower
  • Carrots
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Sweet Peas
  • Whole Corn
  • Green Beans
  • Bell Peppers
  • Sweet Peppers
  • Yellow Squash
  • Butternut Squash
  • Zucchini
  • Sweet Potato
  • Blueberries, Strawberries (any berries your bird loves!)
  • Mango
  • Pineapple
  • Parsley
  • Cilantro
  • Freshly squeezed Orange and Lemon juice

To Make–

Feel free to substitute, omit or alter ingredients to suit what’s in season, available and preferred by your bird.

Pre-Cook Beans and Grains

Pre-cook your beans, rice, quinoa and pasta separately, a day in advance and allow to cool before mixing them. I recommend cooking your bean types separately and only using half a portion of each dry bag or you’ll end up with way too much in your overall mix. If you cook your beans all together they will end up an ugly grey color which I found unappetizing. After cooking (see package instructions on soaking and cooking times), drain and rinse beans in cold water.

For pastas, I cook in advance until al dente, avoid over cooking your pasta or it will become mushy when mixing in and thawing. Cook your quinoa according to the package instructions to allow to sprout or bloom. Rice you will also want to cook in advance. I prefer to use wild rice when available, but you can substitute any long grain rice. Just make sure it is boiled or steamed.

Refrigerate beans, pasta, rice, and quinoa until ready to mix into chop. You want these to be cooled before you mix them with fresh fruits and veggies.

Mix Dry Ingredients

All the dry ingredients I chop into desired sizes or use the food processor. Then simply mix them into a bowl until ready to combine dry ingredients into the cooked and fresh mixes. Make sure to use only shelled nuts for your chop mix.

The millet you can substitute finch seed or parakeet seed mixes. When I have the time, my birds really enjoy the extra effort of sprouting the millet. To do this you moisten paper towels and add a layer of seed you want sprouted between wet sheets for a few days until sprouts appear. If this mix is for larger birds, you can substitute the millet for chopped pine nuts or pistachios.

Chop Fruits and Vegetables

Chop your fresh raw ingredients into appropriate sized chunks. Keep in mind the size of chunks your bird enjoys most. The smaller the breed the easier it is to use a food processor, the larger the bird you’ll want to employ a chef’s knife to chop by hand.

Feel free to mix these as you go into a large bowl or tall pot (I use a gumbo sized pot to mix our large batches). Some of these ingredients are heavy in moisture content. To alleviate this, simply use cheesecloth to squeeze and strain out the excess moisture, especially with the squashes. I recommend leaving blueberries and corn kernels whole, otherwise you’ll need to strain the moisture out. I don’t like to put these small wet ingredients into a food processor or it ends up being a wet mash.

I no longer add apples to this mix unless giving it fresh right away, but only because it browns so quickly!

Once mixed, I add freshly squeezed orange and lemon juice for flavor. The citrus juice keeps the vegetables staying fresher longer once thawed out. Just don’t over do it as you don’t want a super high moisture content to avoid too much frost crystallization once frozen. Too much moisture in your mix can cause a mushy texture when you thaw it out.

Serve and Store

Combine your cooked, dry and fresh ingredients as desired. Serve within a week if fresh. The remaining mix you will want to separate into small portions and freeze for later. I like to use snack bags filled with mixture and then placed inside gallon freezer bags so they can be thawed into smaller batches that won’t go bad as quickly. If properly frozen at a constant temperature, it will keep for about 12 months.

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