Category Archives: chop

lemons

Don’t Throw That Away! Things you should freeze for later.

 Freezers are awesome! They let you put off canning and allow you to preserve the things that you can’t or shouldn’t can. I see people toss things all the time that make me cringe. So here are some things you might not think to freeze that you totally should!

Have you heard of flash freezing? If not check out this post too, its great for berries and such.

Citrus Juice: Squeeze and pour into ice cube trays, when frozen pop the cubes out and store in an air-tight container. Use for any cooking needs, it’s also good for cleaning!

Citrus Zest: Freeze in water, oil, or just by it’s self in a container, baggie or ice cube tray.

Here’s a more in depth post about freezing citrus juice and zest.

Whey, Milk sour and fresh, Yogurt, Buttermilk: You can freeze all the milk products.  Cream cheese and sour cream separate and sometimes won’t work right in a recipe after freezing so I don’t recommend freezing them. Whey from making curdled milk products, fresh and soured milk, buttermilk and yogurt all freeze well. Fresh milk does separate sometimes so freezing milk for drinking might not be the best idea, although people do use it for that. Frozen fresh milk can be used for anything you would use fresh milk for normally. Whey, buttermilk, sour milk and yogurt are all excellent to use in baked goods. Save buttermilk and yogurt in the freezer to have cultures to make more of them. Whey is also great to use when making bread and soups, to cook grains in and there is a great recipe for a Lemon Whey Pie over at The prairie homestead; I definitely want to try it!

As long as soured milk doesn’t smell putrid and there is no mold or off coloring, it’s safe to use.

Eggs: Crack into ice cube trays, baggies or containers. Freeze singularly or in multiples that your most used recipes call for. You could also freeze whites and yolks separately. To use, Let them thaw in the fridge. I haven’t used frozen eggs to make meringue or other things where you whip the whites so I don’t know how it would work. If you have, comment about it!

Mashed Potatoes: Use to thicken soup, make bread or biscuits or top shepherds pie and other casseroles. Contrary to popular belief they also reheat very nicely.
Meat Scraps/Bones: Save these up to make stock!
Black Bananas: Use to make banana bread and other baked goods or freeze nice bananas, use a food processor and eat them like ice cream.
Tomato Paste: Freeze in tablespoon portions so a whole can doesn’t have to opened every time you need a little.


Stock/Broth: If you don’t use all of the container you open or if you make your own stock; it freezes beautifully.

Berries: For blended things, making preserves, cooking or snacking!

Stone Fruit: Same as with berries!
Chop and Mash: Freeze in daily portions for your birds so you don’t have to cook for them as often and you always have something fresh on hand in a pinch. Don’t know what this is? Check out my post about making chop.

Peppers: Slice so they take up less room, use in cooked dishes.

Tomatoes: Freeze whole or chopped; use in cooked dishes our save to can later. They do become watery so leave extra time to cook them down.
Cooked Sweet Potato/ Squash: Save to use in recipes, to make Four Leg-ed Hunter snacks and to feed your birds.
Soft Dog and Cat Food: To hide pills and other medicine in. You can also freeze tablespoons of hamburger or the dough from making Four Leg-ed Hunter snacks.

Cooked Beans: Cook a big batch or save left overs, these guys freeze really well.

Cooked Rice: Same as with beans!

Biscuits: Instead of buying biscuits, why not make and freeze your own?
Pie Dough: Just let it thaw in the fridge before you need to use it.
Bread Dough: Thaw in the fridge and let rise, then bake, use for fry bread or some other creative idea.
Puff Pastry: Make a big batch of this time consuming but delicious dough to have on hand for: pot pie, filled pastries, cresants…
Sauteed Mushrooms: Cooked mushrooms freeze beautifully, I saute in butter and olive oil.
Colostrum: If you ever find yourself in need of colostrum you will be very glad you froze some. When an animal loses her baby, milk her right away for the colostrum. This is what imparts the majority of the mother’s immunity to the baby, forming the foundation of their immune system. Colostrum comes in handy if a baby is rejected or the mother dies.

Juice from Cooking Shrimp/Shellfish: Save this to cook pasta or rice in.
Bread: Any kind of bready thing will freeze very nicely. You can buy on sale or make a whole bunch to freeze. I also save crusty bits for making my own bread crumbs and bread pudding.

  I know there are way more things than this, what did I miss?


This post is participating in The Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways #80 , 119th Homestead Barn Hop Thrifty Things Friday and HomeAcre blog hops go check them out to find more blogs like ours!

I hope you found information and inspiration, come back soon!
Kindest regards,
Emily
chop for parrots

-Week 3 in Review-

Sorry this is late!

I had been working on a Chop post for a week now and for my own sanity had to finish it yesterday. So lets see what happened this week….

We got a new freezer! Boy was that an adventure! We almost couldn’t fit it in the back of our car, then we figured out we could take the back seat out and voila, it fit!  We had to take the new one out of the box to get it in though.
We finally have a working freezer again but now our fridge is really done for. It’s warm enough our milk practically made yogurt on it’s own. I used it to make pancakes and a big batch of biscuits, most I will be freezing. I haven’t tried to freeze homemade biscuits yet but I think it should work just fine. I’m dreading telling the landlords about the fridge but what can I do? We have to have a fridge.

 
The few days of crazy heat were miserable. They about turned all of us nocturnal; we are still trying to get back into a normal sleep habit. The flies got really bad and I went a little stir-crazy killing them, but I think I impressed the cats with my skills. I don’t think they knew the bowl-filler and litter-box-cleaner was also a hunter.

The kittens’ eyes are all open now and they are sassy little brats, I think Paisley might be a push over.
If you think you could give one of these little guys a home let me know!


We also have a surprise litter of rexs. I thought she might be bred but I didn’t know how far along.  Tuesday I found her making a nest on the wire, I moved her into a cage with a nest box. She had  even already had one kit, I moved it with her partial nest into the nest box. There were seven in all; she had another out of the nest and squished the poor thing to death. For a five month old doe ( that’s a month younger than I start breeding at) she is doing great. 

I am taking deposits if anyone is interested. These will be tasty meat rabbits, make a great fair project, pet or as breeders for fur or meat.

The clutch of chicks that hatched last week, as of yesterday, have all died or gone missing but four. The person they belong to has them running free. On a farm with seven dogs, four cats, large long legged animals to step on them and whatever wild animals and free roaming pets pass through, if they don’t at least lock them up at night it will be a miracle if any live to adulthood.


We had an ironic experience on the 4th of July, you can read about in the post Our 4th: Concealed carry, RCW and Cops.

We made a delicious 4th dinner of roasted corn on the cob, bbq crock pot rabbit wings ( finished in the oven and really rabbits don’t have wings, it’s just front legs) and mashed potatoes. A recipe for rabbit wings coming soon! You could buy rabbit from us to make it *hint-hint* or use chicken or pork, I think the sauce would probably be good on any meat honestly.

I posted a delicious recipe you just have to try, Lentil Cakes with Raita.  These are made with sprouts, tasty goodies and eaten with a yogurt based sauce, but really it’s just as much the star of this meal as the lentil cakes.

The whole dying freezer fiasco ruined about half our meat, it is still technically edible but now freezer burned and it’s lost a lot of quality( tastes bad but not actually make you sick bad) so we really don’t want to eat it but we also don’t want to throw it out.  I tried using it in homemade dog/cat treats as a solution. They were a hit! Recipe coming soon! 

Unfortunately, the cows have all but dried up and we never got around to making yogurt or cheese so those projects will have to wait a little while longer. We postponed butchering  since it’s been so hot but it’s on our to-do list.  


There are posts about kitchen pots and pans, keeping rabbits in hot weather and legumes coming soon, maybe next week or the week after.
I hope you all had a good 4th of July !

Kindest regards
Emily

I hope you found information and inspiration, come back soon!
Kindest regards,
Emily
chop for parrots

Chop: all things good for birdie

The Theory


For the majority of history we have fed parrots as if they were either poultry or humans, or rather very spoiled human children. As the field of avian nutrition and awareness among parrot owners has changed there has been an increasing interest, really excitement, about feeding a diverse diet that helps to provide more complete nutrition but also enrich the lives of parrots living in captivity by giving them interesting, changing meals.
 Chop is one of the many innovations that resulted from the increased desire to better feed captive parrots. Chop is a feeding concept more than anything. You can also say it’s the “everything but the kitchen sink” meal of the parrot world. Essentially, it consists of whatever appropriate ingredients you want to use or have on hand. It can be as simple and cheap or complex and expensive as you desire. Chop is not just for parrots, the chop concept can be applied to all birds and in a broader since to feeding any animal, providing you follow that individual organism’s natural diet/nutritional needs.

However, because chop is an attempt to get as many good things in your parrot as possible there is also a science to it, sort of. Everyone will tell you a different list of must have ingredients and others that they think just shouldn’t be in chop. I think a good chop should include: dark leafy greens, red, purple, orange and green veggies, legumes, grains, pseudograins, seeds, sprouts and herbs. People also add: flowers, nuts, pasta, fruit and pellets, or pellet crumbs.
 You will have to look at the arguments and make your own decisions, but I can give you a place to start and at the bottom of the post are links to some sites with excellent information from people who have been at it for a while.
  

Things to consider

Your bird’s size

 Smaller birds will need respectively smaller pieces/ eat smaller quantities. Big pieces for bird size create the take-a bite-toss-the-rest syndrome.  Regardless of your bird’s size, larger pieces allow them to pick out their favorite bits and leave the rest. The issue here is that they won’t get the full benefit of eating chop (when they eat only their favorites, that they would already eat) and will waste more.
The rule of thumb I use is to have most things small enough to fit in my bird’s beak. Of course, that won’t be necessarily true of all the things you add to the chop and you shouldn’t stress about having everything a uniform size, it’s just a guideline.

How much chop your birds will eat will change. When you first introduce them to chop they will likely eat only a tiny bit until they get a taste for it.  When our boys have a new batch of chop they eat more, then they must get burned out on that batch because about the time it’s almost gone they stop eating it as well.
To figure out how much to feed start with a tbs for small birds or maybe a 1/8 of a cup for large birds. Adjust the amount until you find what they can eat in two hours, that’s about the window of time for food to be out unrefrigerated and safe.

Your flock composition and number

Do you have a mix of sizes? dietary needs? eating habits? 
You might want to make more than one batch or make one that is a base and add extras for the different needs of your birds.  Depending on the size of your flock, what will last you the recommended maximum of 3 months in the freezer will be different.
It’s a great idea to look into specific nutritional needs of the species in your flock, that way you can tailor ingredients to their needs.
 I have a large silver kitchen bowl, my batch of chop fills that and lasts us about two months with once a day feedings of about two tbsp per bird- we have two cockatiels.

Freezer space

How much space can you an allocate to chop? What shape containers will be most affective?How fast will your bird(s) eat what you have room to freeze so you can plan to make chop on a schedule.

Freezer containers

Plastic bags, vacuum packing, food storage containers, up-cycled yogurt/sour cream type containers, baby food containers, kitchen wraps/papers.
We use up-cycled plastic containers and wax or other kitchen papers. We portion most of our chop out into individual servings wrapped in little bundles.

This is parchment paper/ foil, we bought it and realized we can’t use it in our oven so we are trying to use it up

It’s really important that you remove as much air from the container and make sure it’s airtight before freezing. If you decide to freeze in ice cube trays I highly recommend moving them from the trays into another airtight container. The chop will get freezer burn quickly being uncovered in the trays. Also make sure you have a really nice set of trays, ones that you never have trouble getting ice out of because the one thing you don’t want to have to do is run the trays under hot water to get the chop cubes out. Melting the outer layer will invite freezer burn.  Personally, I used trays in the beginning and quickly decided there had to be a better way. Experiment until you find containers that work for you.
Three days is about the maximum that my chop lasts in the fridge. I go off how it smells; once it smells at all weird it gets tossed. 
I rarely refrigerate our chop at all anymore. I discovered a while back that our birds will eat chop while it’s still frozen/ thawing out. Now their little chop balls go straight from the freezer to their bowls, no thawing at all. I think this allows them the freshest chop I can give without making it every day. Check out this post on flash freezing and this one that’s even more applicable to food for birds. This is how I freeze all our chop now and I will not be going back! It lasts longer, thaws faster and retains better quality and it works better since I can just remove what I need for the day from a large container in the freezer.

Birds current eating habits/ diet

Are you dealing with a seed addict? Do you have special dietary considerations?  Are your birds already familiar with and enjoy eating the things that will go in the chop?Are your birds usually more interested in large or small pieces?
 I am feeding two cockatiels one of which is a recovering seed addict. So I add more sprouted and soaked seeds/legumes/grains then you will need to if your birds aren’t seed addicts.
If your bird has any health conditions you should talk to an avian vet who understands the chop concept about possible modifications.
If you are introducing chop to a bird who has little to no experience with fresh foods you need to first find a few things they like. Offer little bits of different veggies, fruits, greens and grains. When you make their first batch of chop have the things they liked best in higher amounts than the other ingredients so they will recognize some of the ingredients and be more willing to try the chop. Then they have a chance to learn to like the other things as well.

 I also add fruit. Many people advice against adding fruit because it doesn’t freeze well, adds wetness to the chop and makes it spoil faster. I add it because it’s something that gets my boys to eat their chop better. I only add one type and one piece, so either it’s a banana, mango apple or pear. Just enough that the taste is there and only their most favorite fruits.

Wetness of chop 

 Increased wetness from:
The smaller your veggies are chopped,
 the more fruit you add,
 the less dried goodies 
adding hot, not thoroughly drained cooked legumes/grains

These are all home dried

 Make it drier by:
 Adding:
 dried peppers, tomatoes, tomatillos, veggies
 *adding dried fruit is generally not advised since they are so high in sugar and usually treated with sulfate to maintain color. Make sure whatever dried goodies you use haven’t been treated with sulfate*
oatmeal, or other rolled grains
        herbs/ spices
  flax and chia seed ( when these get wet they make a gel, so they work great to soak up liquid)
nuts, they can help but won’t as much as the other ingredients and you have to be careful not to add to much since they generally add a significant amount of fat.

 Methods to make drier chop:

allow your cooked things to fully cool before adding them.
cook the night before you make chop so everything can cool in the fridge- starch -which the things that you will cook are high in- can soak up a lot of water when it’s cooled. Think about how much liquid you have to add to reheat pasta, rice or beans without turning them into dry scorched nastiness- yep, they can help out with wetness issues a lot.
 Drain your ingredients well after washing and/or cooking. Some people also advice draining your chopped veggies but I think you loose a lot of nutrients from that. I try to soak that good juice up with the dried goodies. Concentrate on preventing liquids from the cooked things, sprouts and washing veggies from getting in the chop.
 Dry your ingredients. You can use paper/ real towels to dry things or a blow-drier that you know isn’t coated with none stick, such as this one
. I use a blow drier all the time since I rarely plan ahead enough to cook the night before. I use a salad spinner for any of the veggies that need drying.

  Wet chop is a concern because it will freezer burns faster, spoils faster and some birds aren’t as interested in eating it.

In mine, all the veggies are either minced by hand or with a food processor. You will need to start your sprouts at least two days in advance for them to be nicely sprouted for the chop. As with the cooked goodies, if the sprouts are well drained they will soak up liquids as well.

  The Don’ts of Chop:

Don’t cook anymore of the ingredients then you have to.
Don’t add dry seeds- besides flax and chia- all seeds should be sprouted. BUT if you are trying to convert a seed addict to chop, mixing chop with their seeds can get them starting at least tasting chop.
Don’t add a ton of fruit
Don’t give up if it’s too wet-add more dry stuff! 
Don’t give up if they don’t like it the first time! Try feeding it again; sometimes if you spread it out in a thin layer or mound it up or change the feeding container, that’s all it takes. If all else fails, make it into birdie bread.
Don’t let the seeds/grains/legumes outnumber the veggies, it should at least be equal to a 1:1 ratio by volume.

  Foods You should never feed:

avocado
chocolate
coffee
tea- herbal teas without actual tea leaf in it are fine and often beneficial.
salt
pickled/cured foods
human junk food
unfermented dairy products 
All of these are undigestible and or toxic to your bird.

The contested: 

 I won’t take sides on these because I haven’t researched them enough but if you want to feed them please do your own research otherwise just avoid using them.

All the Alliums  leaves/bulbs- garlic, onion, chives, green onions…
peanuts/ peanut butter
meat/fish/bones
pasta

Things to use with thought:

spinach, parsley, rhubarb, cranberries, celery, beet root and greens, swiss chard
 These have high levels of oxalate, a compound that binds calcium and other minerals, that are then excreted in the urine. They can contribute to kidney stones, kidney disease and low calcium levels. Their possible ill affects can be easily mitigated by feeding foods high in calcium, such as:
 kale, collard greens, watercress, almonds, okra, chinese cabbage, broccoli, mustard green, beans green or dried, sesame and chia seeds, quinoa.
If your bird already has low calcium levels or kidney issues I would avoid the high oxalate foods until you can talk to an avian vet about a safe level of oxalate consumption for your particular bird. 

sunflower seeds– they are very high in fat, maybe that’s why they are so addictive to pretty much anything. Feed them sparingly and mostly sprouted.
rice– recently, much of it is has been shown to be highly contaminated with arsenic. Try to check current contamination in the variety you are using if you want to feed rice. At the moment humans are advised to limit their consumption of rice; if it’s a high enough contamination to be a concern to humans we should be very concerned about feeding it to our birds. Read this article and this one for more information.

A note about Beans

The only legumes that can be fed just sprouted are:
 lentils    (Lens culinaris)
 mung beans  (Vigna radiata)
 adzuki  (Vigna angularis
chick peas  (Cicer arietinum
and peas   (Pisum sativum)
I include scientific names so that if you are in a country besides the US you might have an easier time figuring out what they are and if you can get them where you are.
All others for the most safety and health benefits should be soaked for 12 hours, then boiled uncovered for a minimum of 15 minutes, then simmering until fully cooked-tender.

This is because legumes contain complex sugars called oligosaccharides and toxic proteins called lectins. Most mammals and birds cannot digest the oligosaccharides, they are part of the reason why you sometimes get gas and bloating when you eat legumes. Your gut bacteria can digest those compounds. Your bacteria get really excited about the feast you just sent them and eat a whole bunch, making an unusually large amount of gas.  Lectins are more of a health concern though; they interfere with normal digestion and metabolism resulting in food poisoning like symptoms. Lectin poisoning does have the potential to be fatal. The “safe five” that can be eaten without cooking still have those compounds but they are able to be deactivated/ digested to safe levels by sprouting. Read my Cooking Legumes post for more information.

My Recipe (this time)

1/2  cup Flaxseed
1/2 cup dried mixed (sulfate free) tomatoes, peppers, tomatillos 
 1/4 cup mixed ginger powder, red pepper flakes and dill , could also include many other herbs!
 1/2 cup oatmeal
1/2 cup each mung bean and lentils
1 cup ( after chopped) mixed greens 
1/2 cup (after chopped) spinach


1 mango’s fruit
 1 inch wide round each of purple and green cabbage
 half a sweet pepper with seeds
one whole jalapeno
1/3 bunch cilantro
1/4 of an average head of broccoli
1 medium carrot
1/4 cup wild rice
 1/2 cup each bean soup mix and quinoa

 what’s in a bean soup mix?
pinto, white,black, kidney  (Phaseolus vulgaris)
peas (Pisum sativum)
lima (Phaseolus lunatus)
black eyed peas (Vigna unguiculata unguiculata)
chick peas (Cicer arietinum)
lentils (Lens culinaris)
 The actual mix differs with brand and what not but these are the ones I see regularly.

Ingredients: What and why

All the veggies in general:

They are a great source for B vitamins, carotenoids, phytonutrients, vitamin C and K and all sorts of minerals.

Greens 

Such as kale, spinach, swiss chard, lettuce ( not iceberg people!), arugula, cress, mustard, dandelion greens; you can feed any human grade green in moderation.
In the wild parrots eat a large amount of greens. The fiber they provide is important, especially so for some species, for digestion and a strong intestinal tract. In humans, fiber helps remove cholesterol from the body; hopefully it does the same for birds!

Cilantro
mixed organic greens
organic spinach

peppers                                      

Sweet and hot, leave the seeds in, some birds love them! 
Many parrots love peppers and they are high in vitamin C, B vitamins and carotinoids.

Orange veggies

such as carrots, sweet potatoes, squash


These are most important for their carotenoids, think vitamin A.


 

 

 

 

Flax or chia seed

These little seeds are really high in Omega 3’s. Greens and other veggies also have omega 3’s but the trick is that (with humans at least, I was unable to find a ratio for any avian species) you need a ratio that’s close to equal between the two.  Most
grains contribute more omega 6’s; since grains make up so much of the diet you need a higher concentration of omegas 3’s to balance them out.

Herbs/spices

Flavor interest for the birds, many have health benefits as well. I only know of one spice that isn’t safe to feed. A lot of the cinnamon sold is actually from cassia bushes, and is not true cinnamon which is from Ceylon trees. They are closely related plants but cassia cinnamon has a much higher content of coumarins, a compound that inhibits blood clotting. Birds cannot afford to loose much blood so feeding cassia cinnamon creates an unnecessary risk. If you want to use cinnamon make sure it’s pure Ceylon. Other than cinnamon, and alliums, I have never read or heard anything about any other herb or spice that makes me think they wouldn’t be safe to feed birds.  Make sure that what you use is salt and MSG free; preservatives, anti-caking agents and really any additives should be avoided.

Sprouts

Seeds are generally high in fat something that makes them a major culprit in fatty liver disease in parrots. By sprouting them much of the fats and sugars are used by the seed in the germination process and proteins are created along the way making sprouted grains and seeds very healthy. 
I don’t know of anything that is safe to sprout for humans that isn’t safe for birds. However,
canavanine, found in alfalfa sprouts can create autoimmune disease like symptoms in humans who have consumed large amounts.  In case that could happen with birds they should be fed in strict moderation.

Grains/legumes

 Contribute mostly carbs and proteins, respectively, but also important for fiber and minerals.  These are important for a healthy, complete diet but they can be overfed easily.
I want to mention quinoa specifically. This little pseudograin is very high in protein and has an excellent amino acid profile. It cooks fast and is delicious.

cooked beans, quinoa and wild rice
Buckwheat
a bean soup mix after soaking for a day

                         Wild rice

Pellets

Some of the more expensive organic,  and corn/ soy/ GMO free  pellets crumble pretty easily, it’s really a good thing meaning they are processed at a lower temperature but it also means there is a lot of waste. People add the crumbs or dust to chop as a way to use up those expensive pellets and soak up liquids. I prefer to use pellet dust when making birdie bread instead.

Flowers

Like with greens, these are naturally a large part of a parrot’s diet and share most of the same nutrients as veggies. In some species, flowers, pollen and nectar are actually a large part of their diet.
Some edible flowers: nasturtiums, pansies, roses, Allium flowers, radish, mustard and kale.


Chop Making Procedure:

2+ days before you want to make chop start your sprouts, I like everybody to be showing at least a little radical(seed root) when I use them.
Pick out anything you wouldn’t want to eat: shriveled, moldy, broken, weird little foreign objects.


Then rinse them really well and put them in a container with twice their volume of water and more room to expand.  Changing the water while soaking once helps prevent your sprouts from becoming really compact in the container as they expand which makes them nigh impossible to get out and it helps prevent them from souring. Soaking overnight, 12 or so hours is best. Then poor off the soak water and rinse them really well.
 At this point you can put them in something like a wide bowl, jar, or mesh strainer. There are also these nifty mesh lids
for Mason jars so you can invert a jar of sprouts and even fancier there are gadgets specifically for sprouting.  You will need to rinse your sprouts at least twice a day, five times is better and frankly you can’t really rinse them to much as long as you are gently. If you don’t rinse enough the sprouts can sour, mold, rot and not grow. 

Some people rinse with various things besides water but I really think that’s unnecessary.  Simply using good sprouting practices is your best bet. Early the day you make chop rinse your sprouts one last time and let them dry out as much as possible before you start assembling the chop.


The next thing I do (it’s better to do this the day before) is cook what needs cooking. 
Things to add that should be cooked:
sweet potato/yams
beans beside the safe six
squash also benefits from being cooked but it isn’t necessary 
 You can cook the quinoa and rice called for in my recipe either by boiling in water until tender and then draining or in a rice cooked with a 2:1 water to grain ratio. Unless the quinoa package or bulk bin said specifically that you don’t need to, rinse it vigorously, rub the grains against each other and rinse. Quinoa has a saponin coating that can make it bitter and soapy tasting if not washed thoroughly. You can also sprout, instead of cook, the quinoa and rice.

None of the other veggies need to be cooked, other grains you can cook but you can also sprout them instead.


 

Chop, mince or use your food processor to make your veggies into the right size pieces. I always chop the greens by hand, I think the food processor just turns them into a paste, creating A TON of liquid in the process. Unless you have a really big food processor you will end up doing it in batches. 


I add each batch to the dry ingredients and make sure there is still dry things to soak up liquids from the other batches I will be adding. After the last batch of veggies is added I add the cooked bits and if it’s too wet add more dry goodies, then add the greens.


I Like chopping broccoli by hand but I’m sure it would be fine to chop in a food processor.


And..It’s Done!!! Do a happy dance, give your fids some to see what they think (if you haven’t already) and congratulate yourself for making a delicious healthy meal for your fids!
At this point check your chop wetness one last time, it should be just sticky and start packing it up for the freezer.



My hubby packaging for the freezer.

 A Few last Notes

Just as many people choose to feed themselves organic they are also choosing to feed their birds organic. It is simply not financially feasible for many people to buy all their food or most of their food organic for their fids and themselves. Luckily, there is a great group of people who put out a list of most and least contaminated produce to help you decide which things to buy organic. 

The dirty Dozen, Clean Fifteen list

 For more information about pesticide contaminated foods see the EWG’s website

If organic is simply outside what you can manage, remember by feeding even fully conventional chop you are feeding your birds much much better than the alternative of a diet comprised primarily of pellet and/or seed and little fresh foods.

 

 These resources have all sorts of information and ideas about chop and other crazy awesome ideas for things you can make for your fids!

 Further Resources

Parrot Nation
The Happy Cockatoo
Nourish to Flourish 
 The Parrot’s Pantry
Nourish to Flourish, A Healthy Cookbook for Parrots *affiliate link*

Last but not least, this post is by no means a complete list of ingredients, opinions, knowledge, methods or concepts about chop ( what’s here will become outdated knowledge but I do plan to change things as the knowledge changes). So, here’s where you come in! Share what’s worked for you; share what you disagree with me about, leave links to other resources and ask and answer each others questions! 

This post is participating in The Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways Wednesday Blog Hop
Go check out all sorts of other blogs like ours!

I hope you found information and inspiration, come back soon!
Kindest regards,
Emily