After spotting the wretched little piece of left-over tallow cake dangling off the Japanese Maple branch (a bird treat left by previous home-owners), and seeing nothing but tallow (beef fat) cakes at the market I was inspired to make my own.
Thanks to some lovely vegan recipes online I managed to create a bird cake for the variety of finches, black capped chickadees, blue jays, warblers, and such that visit our area. They have been an absolute delight to watch whizzing around the branches and drinking from the waterfall, but I worry for their well-being amidst the onslaught of pesticides and other pollutants in the environment. At the very least I could support their nourishment through winter’s dark and cold with a healthy, tasty treat, and thankfully the cake was surprisingly easy to make!
In case you’re wondering why use coconut oil over tallow, here’s a handy graph explaining the nutritional (not to mention compassionate) benefits of coconut over other options:
If you’d like to give it a try you’ll need to collect the following organic (if possible) items:
4 Tbl. coconut oil
2 tsp. peanut butter
2 tsp. sugar
4 Tbl. bird seed w/nuts, berries, dried fruit (or create your own)
4 tsp. cornmeal or polenta
2 tsp. quick-cook oatmeal
2 tsp. flour
You’ll also want to have a small, square pan or other mold to pour the mixture in, and a square cage in which to place the frozen, finished creation (available where bird feed is sold) or create your own design. You may even choose to use ice cube trays or specialty shaped plastic molds (hearts, flowers, etc).
In small pan melt the coconut oil, peanut butter and sugar together over low-medium heat, stirring to prevent sticking, then remove from heat.
In separate bowl mix the remaining ingredients together, add the melted mixture and stir well till blended.
Pour the warm mixture into the pan or mold of choice and place it on a level surface in the freezer for 45-60 mins, or till fully hardened.
Remove from mold, cut into smaller pieces if necessary, place in bird feeder cage, and hang it up outdoors. Enjoy watching the bird party! 😀