Monday, January 18, 2010
Vegetarian Suet Treats for Birds
One of my most favorite things to do in the morning is grab a cup of coffee and watch the birds visit the feeder on our deck. I love the woodpeckers and the itsy bitsy Carolina Wrens the most. These little guys love to eat suet (which is a bird treat made from lard and other gross things, peanut butter etc.)and it costs me alot of money to buy it since the majority of it is carried away by the squirrel bandits. I wanted to try an experiment and make my own "suet". Being a household of vegans and vegetarians there isn't much lard or beef fat or icky stuff like that in our fridge so my version will have to be vegetarian :D
I took even amounts of peanut butter (preferably crunchy), rolled oats, bird seed, a little bit of margarine, and some hush puppy mix (don't laugh--it was the only thing I could find in our cabinets that had corn meal in it!) You can use plain corn meal :) I mixed all the ingredients in a bowl and then spread the concoction into a square pan--I guess I made it around 2-3 inches thick and then stuck it in the fridge overnight. When the sun came up I cut out a square chunk of veggie suet and put it in my suet holder (you can buy these pretty much wherever bird seed is sold).
My little birdie friends went wild for it and I was so thrilled to see all my most cherished birdie friends: the Red Bellied Woodpecker, a Downy Woodpecker and of course my little bitty buddies the Carolina wrens, nuthatches and cute lil chickadees all grabbing a snack while I sat and watched. I think my kitty Sheppy loves watching them almost as much as me (obviously for different reasons though lol...)!
I've made different varieties of this veggie suet (more or less of some ingredients or some not at all, added different seeds and nuts etc.) and the birds love it every time (unfortunately so do the squirrels!) So if you enjoy watching birds and feel like making them a treat, go ahead and whip up some veggie suet!
P.S. I've also found other vegan suet recipes by searching online, one of them can be found at this wonderful blog: http://shenandoahvegan.blogspot.com/