Several people at the Refuge have asked for my “recipe” for Birdie Bread, because Birdie Bread is the best way to trick fussy birds into eating their vegetables. I kept saying, “You just grind up some vegetables and toss them into your cornbread mix”. Apparently, this is not a satisfactory answer. So here we go:
1 Box Cornbread mix (I generally use Jiffy, but this time I used Martha White), plus mix ingredients
1 handful of baby carrots, washed
1 handful of cut broccoli, washed
1 handful of cut cauliflower, washed (optional)
1 container of sweet potato baby food (I used Gerber, Phase 2)
It should be noted that when it is on sale, I just buy a bag of cut vegetables. Today, broccoli crowns were on sale, so I grabbed one. Because Sigmund prefers the “tree” of the broccoli to the “leaf”, I cut the tops off the trees. Then I tossed them into my mini food processor. Next, I grabbed a handful of baby carrots from the bag and did the same thing. Tossed it all in a mixing bowl. Then I poured the baby food on top.
Side Note: The deal with the baby food is that sweet potatoes are really good for birds (and people) because they have a lot of vitamins. Karen, the volunteer director at the Refuge, swears that you can get any bird to start eating vegetables by mashing a sweet potato, mixing it with peanut butter and serving it in a cup.
Kiwi still won’t eat it.
Then I put the batter in cupcake cups, as a matter of portion control and ease of serving. I cook it according to the instructions on the box, but remember that the fresh vegetables have water in them, too. So I wait until the muffins are visibly golden brown before I am convinced they are done.
And here is Sigmund stuffing his face with the finished product. Kiwi feeds them to the dog.
African Greys are notorious for needing extra calcium, so I use milk in the batter even when the mix says water is ok. Also, if you use a powder calcium supplement, you can bake that in too. Rich, the Director at the Refuge, says that if the mix uses eggs (Jiffy’s does) you should grind the egg shell up with the vegetables and bake that in, too. Just make sure to gently wash the egg before doing so.
This recipe made 12 muffins and in my experience they will last up to two weeks if you keep them in the refrigerator. I don’t know whether they freeze well. I generally give a Grey one muffin at a time, broken into pieces. At least half of that ends up on the floor. I am considering getting a mini-muffin pan.