Just to clarify, this post is about smoothies made FOR parrots, not smoothies made FROM parrots, so don’t panic.
When I hit on the idea of making smoothies for Willow, I spent a good bit of time congratulating myself for how clever I was to have come up with such an incredibly novel idea. But as I was cruising through Patricia Sund’s articles on about.com, I discovered she had beat me to it. What I offer in this post is just one take on the idea. I recommend you pop over to have a look at her smoothie recipes, and while you’re at it, read everything else she’s written on about.com about feeding your birds too.
When Willow came to us she was in serious need of a diet change. Getting her to eat things like vegetables and pellets has not been easy (or possible, in the case of the pellets). She’s quite partial to frozen carrots and red grapes, but has not consistently eaten the other foods I’ve offered her and that worried me.
It was discovered early on that Willow loved grape juice, or any kind of juice really (she got the 100% juice, no artificial coloring, no added sweeteners sort). She also showed an interest in drinking out of our glasses, and an even bigger interest in my morning mugs of decaff coffee. Eventually, that got me thinking… What if I mixed up some other things with the juice? Would she drink it?
Turns out she would. Did. Does. And that’s how I got started making Willow smoothies.
The most recent batch I made contained the following, though you could use just about anything that is healthy and bird safe (and wont bust your blender):
- About 1/2 cup Roudybush pellets (“crumbles”), soaked
- 2 bananas, peeled
- 1/2 a mango, peeled and pitted
- Kale, spines removed
- Brussels sprouts, chopped
- Some home grown Bright Lights Swiss chard
- Apple Cranberry fruit juice (100% juice, no artificial coloring, no added sweeteners, etc.)
- Filtered water
Step one is to soak the pellets. I heat up filtered water in a tea kettle until it whistles and pour the boiling water onto the pellets until they are covered. I let it sit until the pellets are soft from absorbing the water and are about the same consistency as oatmeal. The mush gets tossed in the blender.
Next, all of the vegetables and fruit get washed well, peeled, chopped up, and chucked in the blender on top of the pellet mush. I add in fruit juice and/or water until it looks like it will be the consistency I want and blend it well.
What you see above is the finished product (yum, yum). Then I pour it into ice cube trays.
I stick them in the freezer and let them freeze until they are good and solid, then dump the frozen blocks into a gallon freezer bag to store for easy use. When I want them I drop a couple of blocks into a small mason jar with a lid (so I can give it a good shaking), thaw, and serve.
So far, Willow loves her smoothies. I like to have two batches on hand, one that focuses on greens and another that focuses more on orange vegetables. She gets one for breakfast and the other for dinner along with her regular diet.
A note of caution though… smoothies can add a whole new level of mess within the sling radius. I’ve found smoothie drips a good five or six feet from the drop site. Also, depending on how thick you make your batch, your bird may end up with watery stools after drinking it, so keep an eye on that and bear it in mind.