Homemade, Organic “Nutri-Berry”-Type Recipe

June 30, 2011 § 10 Comments

I have been wanting to create an organic and healthier version of the Nutri-Berry for a long while now.  They look very tasty and fun for birds to eat, but the ingredient list contains a few things I’d rather not feed, so I’ve always stayed away from them.  I did some searches online for some recipes and have tried some in the past that required egg whites and baking, but those recipes never seemed to work very well as they don’t yield the softer texture that seems so appealing about the actual Nutri-Berry to so many parrots.  I finally found a very unique one that used molasses and no baking, and was intrigued.  I gathered all of my ingredients this weekend and finally got to work!  The molasses content isn’t overwhelming but it does make them pretty sweet; these snacks will be used as treats only among my flock, but they look pretty delectable if I may say so myself!  I threw together the ingredients at random so feel free to add, subtract, or substitute as you please.  I didn’t measure anything but used varying amounts… there are probably equal amounts of each puffed grain, but not quite as much in the way of sunflower seeds or cranberries as there are other ingredients.

The dry ingredients, minus the pellets

Ingredients (All Organic):

  • Puffed Brown Rice
  • Puffed Buckwheat
  • Puffed Barley
  • Puffed Triticale
  • Flax Seed
  • Sesame Seed
  • Sunflower Seed (shelled)
  • Pumpkin Seed (shelled)
  • Unsweetened Cranberries
  • Unsweetened Papaya
  • Unsweetened Mango
  • Walnuts
  • Almonds
  • Totally Organics Pellets (Crumplet Size)
  • Molasses
  • Coconut Oil


Directions:

First I took any of the larger ingredients– papaya, mango, walnuts, almonds, pumpkin seed– and chopped them in the food processor until they were uniform in size, and nice and small for the treats.  I left the rest in tact, but they can also be run through the food processor for smaller birds.  I then combined all ingredients except for the molasses and coconut oil in a large, non-reactive mixing bowl– see the photograph above.  (The first time around I forgot to add the pellets, but they were added shortly after I added the molasses.)

Next I poured some molasses into a small saucepan.  I’m not sure of exactly how much I used, but it was probably around 1/3 of a cup (there was also plenty of molasses left in the saucepan when I was done).  I put it on the stove over medium heat waiting for it to bubble.  In the mean time, I lined a few trays with waxed paper, and lightly coated a spatula with coconut oil to use for mixing.  When the molasses began to bubble, I quickly poured it over the dry ingredients and vigorously mixed them until there was just enough molasses to cat all of the ingredients and make them just sticky enough to form.

I then lightly coated my own hands with coconut oil and began to form them into little balls.  It took a few rounds to get it down correctly.  Too much oil and the balls don’t hold together, but not enough and the ingredients just stick to your hands.  You also have to re-coat your hands after every few treats (I ended up re-coating after every third treat).  As I’m sure you can guess… this is a very messy endeavor!  Be prepared to be coated in lots of oil and molasses and stickiness by the time you are done.

The finished product!

Some of them aren’t quite as nicely shaped as others, but I think they came out quite well!  My recipe made nearly three trays of treats.  Lola had just eaten and wasn’t hungry when I offered her one so unfortunately I have no idea if they’re any good or not just yet, but hopefully they will be a big hit.  I tasted one and it was quite good, kind of like a sticky trail mix treat.

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