If you don’t know what a grain bake is yet, you should take a look at Patricia Sund’s blog Parrot Nation. The idea of a grain bake is to throw a bunch of dry goods like grains, beans, pasta, fruits,etc, cover with water, and bake until the water is absorbed. What could be easier than that?
Maybe the crockpot?
I don’t know if it’s technically easier, but it fits into my lifestyle. I throw my goods in the crockpot, cover with about an inch of water, cover and turn on the heat! That is really all there is to it.
Here is a before picture:
Now, I usually don’t measure because I tend to throw whatever I have on hand in with reckless abandon. For your benefit I made sure to take approximate measurements.
- 1 jar organic sweet potato baby food
- 1 cup dry millet
- 1 cup dry oat groats
- 1/2 cup dry quinoa
- 1/3 cup dry Bird Street Bistro Apple Berry Feast
- 2/3 cup dry brown lentils
- 1/3 cup dry mung beans
- 6 cups of water
Mix together in a 5 or 6 quart crockpot, cover, and set on high for 4 hours. I would check at the 2 hour mark to be sure you don’t need more water.
This makes a LOT of food. I freeze it in small baggies enough to feed my birds for one week. Now, I don’t add any veggies or fruits to my bakes because I add those fresh before serving. I give each of the birds about 1 tbsp of grain bake mixed with 1-2 tbsp of fresh veggies. It makes a great base to work with!
This type of recipe is perfect for cleaning out the cupboards of all those “almost empty” jars and bags of grains you might have.
A word of caution: I would not cook dry beans that have to be cooked with this method. This would include those dried bean mixes at the store containing kidney beans, etc. The crockpot does not heat the dry beans enough to disrupt the compounds that make them toxic when dry. Mung beans and adzuki beans should be fine as those can be fed sprouted without issue and don’t contain the same toxins. Other than that, ideas for this would be:
- Pastas like whole wheat, veggie, quinoa (these have more nutrients than standard white pasta)
- Grains like quinoa, buckwheat, oat groats, kamut
- Dried fruits like papaya, goji berries, cranberries (no sugar added and preferably sulphur dioxide free)
- Beans like mung or adzuki
I’m just happy that my birds have food in the freezer for the next couple of months with such little effort!