Hi! I am an Eclectus parrot owner and I love to cook! Why not be able to share your meals with your fids? I hope these ideas will encourage you to eat healthier as well as enrich the lives of your parrots. Enjoy and happy cooking!!

These recipes are designed to be made for you and your family AND be safe to share with your parrot. Special consideration has been given to the unique Eclectus diet. Please be aware that, where noted, some ingredients should be added ONLY to the human servings. If you have questions or suggestions feel free to add them in comments for that recipe!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Pumpkins - A Super Food!!!

I thought this would be the perfect time to get to work on this blog again - just in time for the Fall season when squashes and gourds of all kinds are hot decoration - and MENU - items!  Pumpkins come in many varieties and are not only fun to carve, they are nutritious.  The fruit is low-calorie, free of saturated fats and cholesterol... RICH in fiber, anti-oxidants, vitamins (lots of vitamin A!) and minerals.  The seeds are high in fiber, protein and heart-healthy amino acids.

When selecting, look for fully-developed pumpkins that sound "woody" when tapped, are heavy in the hand and have a stout stem.  Avoid those with wrinkled or bruised skin.  You can store them for weeks in a cool, well-ventilated area but once cut, should be refrigerated and will only last a few days.

Since you're probably getting ready to carve up a jack-o-lantern or two for Halloween, be sure to share a scoop of seeds, guts and all, with the fids - mine love it! - and here's how to make a tasty toasted snack that everyone can enjoy!

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

1. Clean your seeds - annoying but necessary!  Try dumping them in a bowl of water and use your hands to get the stringy pumpkin "guts" off.  Pat them dry on a towel.  Return to a clean bowl.
2. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.
3. Give your seeds a very light drizzle of olive oil (or coconut oil) - doesn't take much!  Toss to coat then spread out in a single layer on your baking sheet.
4. Bake for 8-10 minutes then stir.  After another 5 minutes, test one to see if they're done.  The shell should be crispy and easy to bite through and will be just slightly golden.  The seeds inside will burn if you bake too long so keep a close watch!
5. That's it!  But keep reading for some tasty flavor ideas!

After the olive oil step you can add some flavor if you wish.  My favorite is salt but I don't share those with the fiddies.  Just remember to use bird-safe ingredients for the seeds you intend to offer your parrot.

*Sub coconut oil above and toss with cinnamon.
*A splash of pure maple syrup and a bit of pumpkin pie spice and ground clove.
*Spice them up with with a little cayenne pepper.
*Go Italian with parmesan and oregano.
*Try a blend of equal parts ground cumin, cinnamon, ginger, plus a pinch of cayenne.  (Add a couple tablespoons of sugar to a batch for humans with a taste for sweet and spicy!)
*Sweeten them with cinnamon and sugar for humans only!

KITCHEN TIP: Use tin foil to bake separate flavors on the same pan.

Do you have a favorite flavor?  Please comment and share!!