Five minutes. That’s it. That’s about the time it will take you to make a basic grain bake. And just like many of the things I make, the possibilities are endless. You can do all kinds of things with this as it is a “method” rather than a recipe.

As you might have gathered, I’m not real big on recipes, unless it’s for bread where you’d better have the correct ratios and measurements or it won’t come out.

There is a reason for this. People who visit the Bird Talk blog live all over the world and I don’t like giving a recipe that has ingredients that are unavailable to you.

Grain Bake: A Simple Recipe

I once remember looking at a recipe I wanted to make for dinner that evening. The first instruction was ” Marinate for three days.” Obviously, this wasn’t going to be a make it in a snap kind of recipe. And I never did make that dish.

So if I list say, spaghetti squash as an ingredient and you can’t find any, this might deter you from making this dish. My point is, you can make any kind of grain bake you like using healthy ingredients. After a while, you’ll see what works for you and what your flock really goes for and you can take it from there. It’s also a great way to sneak some vegetables in.

The only thing you’ll want to make sure you do is pre-soak and cook any beans you put in a grain bake.

But a grain bake not only comes together in a snap, it’s done in an hour or so and you can go clean a cage or lie on the couch and eat bonbons while it’s cooking for all it cares. It’s easy to make and it’s one of those “freezes beautifully” recipes.

You can make as much or as little as you need and you can make it differently every time.

It can be any flavor your flock prefers and you can add vegetables or fruit if you like.

It’s simple and very flexible. A grain bake is a casserole dish that has a variety of food that is good for your birds, but it’s primarily grains.

You can use barley, spelt, mung beans, lentils, whole wheat pasta, wild and brown rice, quinoa, coconut, dried fruit, fresh fruit, canned pumpkin, fresh pumpkin or squash, coconut, cooked dried beans, cinnamon, amaranth, buckwheat, oatmeal, Bob’s Red Mill Five Grain, sweet potato, chia seed, flax seed… well, you get the idea. Simply anything that is good for your bird.

For some reason, I like to flavor it with cinnamon. But you can flavor it any way your birds prefer. Basil would be a good choice if you want to make a savory Grain Bake. That might be nice with acorn squash pieces added. It’s up to you and your flock what you do with it.

Recipe: Grain Bake

Here’s how you make one:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Grease the casserole dish first. Coconut oil is a good choice.
  • Add the ingredients you’ve selected. Uncooked oatmeal is a good first choice. Fill to about half to 2/3rds of the way to the top and stir to ensure all the ingredients are mixed.
  • Add water to cover the ingredients and stir to evenly distribute water.
  • Cover with casserole lid or foil and bake for an hour. Check midway through baking to see if more water is needed.
  • Remove from oven and let it cool.
  • Portion the ingredients for freezing in zip-lock bags and freeze for later use.

That’s it!

Patricia Sund is the creative director of Bird Talk Magazine, and has written for a variety of avicultural-themed publications, including Bird Talk, the Bird Talk Annual, Birds USA, Phoenix Landing’s Phoenix Beakin’ and Watchbird magazine for the American Federation of Aviculture (AFA). She lives in Florida with her three African grey parrots, Parker, Pepper and Nyla, stars of the popular column, “Memo to Parker & Pepper.”

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