By Ruth Ann La Rue
Birdie Bread can be made with basic ingredients, but consider adding a nutritional punch.
1. Start by cooking your own bean & lentil mix, without salt, until the beans are just cooked. Cool to room temperature to make now or freeze for the future.
2. Cook a mixture of brown, black or pink rice according to package directions. Add quinoa to the mix, it is good, too. Cool and proceed or freeze.
3. Consider what else you want to add to the Birdie Bread. Dried cranberries? Chopped nuts? Oh, how about another good punch of nutrition! Consider a quinoa, amaranth, millet mixture. So many birds come from South America. These grains are native to the continent. Adding uncooked gives a good crunch. They cook partially while baking. Chez La Rue birds give zygodactyl toes up on this blend.
4. Mix the beans, rice and additives with a large spoon in a bowl the size needed to make a baking pan of Birdie Bread. I use commercial baking pans when baking inside. In summer I use 8 X 6 inch pans in my outdoor convection oven. (When it is 115 in the shade no baking indoors.)
5. Now the binder. Consider a commercial cornbread mix or make your own. The binder is just a fraction of the total Birdie Bread so I take a shortcut here. Sprinkle a few cups into the mixture and blend.
6. Now what liquid? Water? Vegetable stock? Not milk. Let’s ramp up the nutrition again. How about carrot juice. It has abundant vitamin A, especially necessary for Amazons. I found a carrot juice that is a blend of carrot, apple, orange, lime and ginger juice! Talk about powerhouse! So add liquid until your mixture is a little stiffer than cake batter. Yum. Have a little taste. Sweet!
7. So, ready to bake? Set your oven to 350 F and preheat.
8. To ease removal of baked product line your baking pan(s) with parchment paper.
9. Fill your baking pans 2/3 to 3/4 full of the batter. Smooth top.
10. Now, BAKE. Expect wonderful fragrance emanating from the kitchen. Bake for 60 to 120 minutes. Watch to see if done – think cornbread done. Pulls a bit from the edge of the pan, set in the middle, a toothpick comes out clean.
11. Cool to room temp. Refrigerate or freeze. Cut into cubes, squares or crumble. Taste! Give your bird a taste!