Archive for July, 2010

Plantain for winter

posted by Gudrun @ 12:18 PM
July 21, 2010

parrot food


If you read my book “What Happened to my Peanuts” or followed this blog, you may have seen that I am a fan of plantain (Plantago Major). I am using it as parrot food and for myself during the summer. And I feel always safe to have an herb, which helps with so many issues, like wounds, as tea for internal problems, etc. For the winter I used to dry my own. And I am ready to harvest and dry some batches for the next winter.

Though, today I got my weekly Dr. Christopher’s Herbal Legacy Newsletter with the following information:

Plantain is best used fresh, as opposed to the dried herb.  What works very well for us, is to take the plantain, right after being picked, place it in a blender with only enough water as needed to blend it until smooth.  Fill individual dividers in ice trays with this blended plantain, and freeze.  When frozen completely, remove to plastic freezer-safe bags, label, and store in freezer.  When bitten by a snake, spider, or in the case of an insect sting, simply remove one of those frozen cubes, thaw, and apply to the affected area, holding in place with a cotton gauze, or some other bandage.

I am excited about this information, because it seems much easier to prepare my winter batch. This way I can freeze enough to use it for food for my parrots in timesparrot food when no plantain is growing. I am going to try this with other herbs, like basil, nettle.

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Thank you Christy Kaufman

posted by Gudrun @ 12:32 PM
July 19, 2010

parrot nutrition


Several years ago, I was invited to Pittsburgh, PA to speak to the members of the Parrot Education & Adoption Center there.  Their executive director Christy Kaufman, who had made all arrangement for me to come and speak there, was a most gracious host.  I will never forget how welcome I felt.  She also impressed me with her knowledge about  parrots  nutrition.  She drove me around and showed me the area and such wonderful places like the National Aviary.  My memories of Pittsburgh are very found because of the open and eager to learn members of PEAC and Christy.

I just got the newsletter from PEAC in Pittsburgh, PA and it anounces that Christy is retiring from as a executive director.

I wish her all the best. I am sure it will not be easy to find a replacement for such an loving, patient, knowledgeble and hart working person and wish the board of directors and Christy that  somebody who can replace her will come anlong soon.


Here is a link to the newsletter, in which you can also find information of the “Parrot Personalities” workshop for the 24th of July.:


Take good care of your self, Christy. I hope to see you at some of the ‘parrot events’.

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Crystal’s delicious cantaloupe relish for Parrots

posted by Gudrun @ 14:18 PM
July 15, 2010

parrot foodparrot food



About ten years ago a parrot owner ask me for a suggestion about what kind of parrot food or herbs she can feed for a certain condition of one of her birds. She thought what I was telling her was total nuts. I must have tried rather stern to convince her, because she thought I yelled at her. I guess she was just not used to my German way of communicating. LOL. Though, I learned to be more tolerant in the mean time. Anyway, she was open enough to have a look into using certain foods or herbs for her birds and think it through. She says she learned a lot from me about nutrition and how to feed her parrots right. Over time we did not only become friends but started to learn from each other.  She comes up with the most delicious recipes and was gracious enough to allow me to share here cantaloupe relish, which is just wonderful during for our birs these hot summer days.

And here is Crystal Smith’s email from this morning, in which she shares her parrot cantaloupe relish recipe:


This was our breakfast today!  I forced myself to take a bite…  I can’t even describe the sensations my mouth went through. (We’ll leave that for another time)  The birds however are definitely enjoying!  Tommy hasn’t manners though – he’s talking with his mouth full.  He can’t get past the need to identify his meal with the repeated phrase of “WHAT’S YOUR NAME”!!  Weirdo bird.

Cantaloupe Relish

We’re always on the look-out for new concoctions that appease the senses as well as provide a healthy meal for our parrots.  We keep to the main goal of “fresh is best”!  This pretty much guarantees achieving the best nutritional value of the food offered.

One such meal our parrots enjoy on a hot summer day is what we call “Cantaloupe Relish”.  Kept simple, (as shown below) this recipe calls for chopped cantaloupe, cilantro, and various sprouted seeds (from our Auntie Gudrun at Totally Organics).

If you are interested in the nutritional value of this simple recipe – read on!

Cantaloupe – this sweet smelling fruit offer significant amounts of Vitamin A and C.  They are also a good source of beta-carotene, potassium and contain smaller amounts of calcium, iron, niacin, B-12 and riboflavin.
And don’t forget the Cantaloupe seeds!  They can be washed, dried with a paper towel (or air dried) and then added to the relish as well!  They also contain vitamins, minerals, as well as protein and carbohydrates!

Cilantro – A member of the carrot family and also referred to as Chinese Parsley and Coriander.  This herb is often referred to in my health food cook books as an “appetite stimulant”!  The leaves of the Cilantro have a pungent smell and humans tend to either love it or hate it!   We’ve found that our parrots are drawn to any dish that contains this herb.  Cilantro also contains antibacterial properties and can also be used as a fungicide.  Rich in vitamin C, A E, K, Fiber, and Calcium.


OH!!!  I almost forgot!  I roasted some cantaloupe seeds!  Birds LOVE them!  I just washed and dried them with a towel.. then tossed them with cayenne pepper and roasted in oven ..low heat for about one hour!    OMGosh – such a delicacy for them… but nearly sent me to the ER, my tongue was on fire!

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