Winter is coming
Although today and the next days are pretty good here temperature-wise, I promised my daughter to make birds winter treats yesterday after we selected the seed/dried fruit mix for the treats. She was hoping to be able to hang them at the terrace once she got home, but I noticed the temperature isn't falling below zero & even hits 19 degrees the next few days, so this wasn't a great option for now. I read that it could cause the oil used to melt and stick on the bird's feathers making it hard (or impossible) to fly. That's not what we want, so these treats landed in the freezer once they were done. The first day we can, we will hang them up.
The task was messy
I have to admit, that I never made these bird treats before and thought it would be easy. The reality was that I wanted to use cookie cutters for the smaller treats first, great idea, if they would have been straight, which they weren't, the oil escaped under the cutter, haha. But I assumed not everything would work so I had a few options ready to try out to see what I'd prefer while creating them. The ones that worked are the ones I'm going to share. Just know cookie cutters could work if the oil is already closer to being cold or if the cutters are cut off straight at the bottom leaving no openings for the oil to escape.
Tools and ingredients
I used coconut oil as we don't have any other oils in the house, we always use this in the fryer as well, and I prefer giving the birds something slightly healthier than the usual. Just make sure you won't use any used oil, but new only. I read that the used oil does not solidify.
For the seed mix, I first went to several supermarkets for birdseed mix but none of them sold it, which could mean they only sell this at animal stores here, I can't say for sure as I don't have a pet currently, so it was the first time I was looking for it. As I still had a few different nuts and seeds and dried fruit, I decided to make my own mix instead, hoping the birds enjoy this luxury mix. I made sure none of the nuts are roasted or salted btw. There are also sunflower seeds in it, which my daughter has been peeling for the birds very patiently:
Daddy tried to steal a few while she was busy, which she didn't allow as these were for the birds! :)
I added pumpkin seeds, dried fruit mix & walnuts. Some parts of the dried fruit and walnuts were a bit big, so I made them a bit smaller before adding them to the mix. Depending on how many seeds you have, add an equal amount of coconut oil. I may have used a little too much oil myself, but it turned out fine, it was only a bit messier to get it in the cupcake silicone molds.
I also made sure I had rope and a stick to make sure the rope stayed in place while adding the oil and seeds.
Not in the image, but you will need a pan as well to liquefy the oil.
It's very simple, the oil needs to be liquified but not hot, so use a low temp to make this happen and have a bit of patience. The hotter the oil gets, the longer it will take before it cools down later. Once it's liquid you can add the mix of seeds and stir well.
Place a rope as shown in the image above and then pour the mix on top of it.
Now carefully place it in the fridge, freezer, or if it's cold enough you can also put it outside for a while so that it solidifies.
The end result
I love how these turned out. I think these baking molds were perfect for it. The smaller ones also look quite cute as they have a cupcake shape. See the result below:
I placed them in the freezer for a bit as I wasn't sure if I could remove the molds already. When I was sure it was all frozen, I removed them:
Afterward, I placed them all in a bag in the freezer until the temperature hits 0 again. I can't wait for the birds to find them once we hang them on the terrace.
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and maybe you can create your own bird treats for the winter as it's so easy to do!