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Wednesday, 30 January 2019

Healthy Fats ... so good for us and our garden birds

Fat it's good for us …


If you live the LCHF (Low Carb High Fat) lifestyle, or know about this lifestyle you are aware that many refer to the 'HF' ( High Fat) as Healthy Fats ... foods like cream, butter, flax, cheese, avocado, nuts, and olive oil - in fact the foods that are pictured above. They are all on my shopping list because these are the fats that I use on a daily basis. Obviously high in calories but also full of essential nutrients. As I've written before my lifestyle is low carb, no more than 50 a day, with higher healthy fats and moderate protein. It is a balance that suits me, although each of us has to find our own balance, and obviously take into account any food allergies, or underlying health condition. 

You can read more about Low Carb Healthy Fat (LCHF) Eating here
There is also our Introduction to low-carb for beginners post here 

Fat is good for garden birds …


With the weather getting colder many of us may want to regularly feed our Garden Birds, and you may already be doing this. One thing they love are 'Fat Balls'. Read how to make them below.
"Fat balls and other fat-based food bars are excellent winter food. If they are sold in nylon mesh bags, always remove the bag before putting the fat ball out – the soft mesh can trap and injure birds. You can make your own bird cake by pouring melted fat (suet or lard) onto a mixture of ingredients such as seeds, nuts, dried fruit, oatmeal, cheese and cake. Use about one-third fat to two-thirds mixture. Stir well in a bowl and allow it to set in a container of your choice. An empty coconut shell, plastic cup or tit bell makes an ideal bird cake ‘feeder’. Alternatively, you can turn it out onto your bird table when solid."

Bird photo and Fat Ball details from the RSPB. Please read more about what you can do to help birds during the colder months here

All the best Jan

38 comments:

Valerie-Jael said...

The birds that visit here love the fat ball and nets full of nuts. Valerie

CJ Kennedy said...

We just switched to Kerry Gold from our regular brand of butters. Such a big difference. In the states, we forgot what butter was supposed to taste like.

Tom said...

...my birds love suet.

Christine said...

Thanks for the healthy fats info. We have very cold days forecasted in Toronto, hope the wildlife will be ok.

Phil Slade said...

A good and timely link for your readers there. We had our first snow today - just about an hour after which the sun came out and the snow soon melted. Thank goodness.

Stay safe and do try niger and sunflower seeds for the birds if you like to fill your garden with Goldfinches.

Regine Karpel said...

Love.

Catarina said...

I don't see birds passing by my backyard! Who wants to fly by when the temperature is -19 C at the moment?!: )

Carol Blackburn said...

This is so funny because Hubby and I bought some suet blocks for the birds and one day I read the ingredients and said, "hey, we could actually eat this stuff if we had to." It had some decent ingredients. LOL I could cut it into 1" cubes as fat bombs. Full of nuts and seeds. Just kidding, I'd never do that! Hubby says in case of a major disaster we go to the store and get all the suet we can find. Now that's thinking. Have a great day.

Sami said...

I had never heard of a fat ball for the birds, will have to look into it to feed my garden visitors in winter. I always have seeds out for them :) Thanks Jan.

Out on the prairie said...

I made a wooden tray and tip it when solid . I put dowels around for roosts

Jeanie said...

We're in the Polar Vortex (sounds medieval, doesn't it?) and I'm not even SEEING birds. I think they found somewhere to huddle and are doing so. I've been putting out seed but this is a wonderful idea. Thanks for sharing it.

And thanks too for your comments and visits at Marmelade Gypsy. So glad you are along for the ride with the England journey!

Missy George said...

my birds regularly get suet..the squirrels like it as well (of course)..nice post

Elephant's Child said...

Perhaps because our winters are much milder I have never given our birds fats. Off to investigate.

Miss Val's Creations said...

Healthy fats are delicious! Interesting about the birds. We just give them seed but maybe we should try something different for the colder months.

Mary Kirkland said...

I love everything in that picture. I'll have to try more almond flour.

The Joy of Home with Martha Ellen said...

Since going on a low carb, high fat diet my numbers have improved to normal! I am thrilled to say the least. I'm a big believer in this plan as you can imagine.
The darling birds would love a fat ball in this cold weather. Stay warm and cozy. ♥

sandy said...

fat balls - sounds like a good idea for the birds. it just kind of made me giggle though.

Lisa Isabella Russo said...

What a lovely idea for the birds! Some fats do indeed seem to be healthy.

happyone said...

Great shot of the birds.

NanaDiana said...

i am so glad your eating plan works so well for you. I do think we have to work at what works for us. I was on HFLC for about 5 year and felt fantastic. I got off it and have had a terrible time getting back on the plan. I start and then abandon it after a short time.

Have a great night- xo Diana

Victor S E Moubarak said...

I make my own bird cakes with lard.

God bless.

by JFM said...

Everything in the picture would work for me, too!

Thank you Jan 💮

bill burke said...

Good to know what the healthy fats are. Thanks for sharing.

Iris Flavia said...

The kerrygold looks just the very same in Germany/our fridge!
Oh, I do hope the squirrels will come back once we're home - the birds found a better place...

Margaret-whiteangel said...

Interesting regarding the birds.

Linda said...

Here I buy suet cakes that have red pepper and seeds in them. The pepper discourages squirrels from eating them. The squirrels do eat my bird seed and woodpecker bars though. I once tried bird seed with red pepper in it but some dust from it blew into my eyes so never again!

Today was so cold I put peanuts out for the squirrels. They are rascals but they are cute.

John R said...

Snowing here this morning, so the birds in my garden will welcome their daily feed of nuts. Being 'vegan,' I tend to eat quite a low fat diet, though I know we all need some form of fat in our diet. Like the birds I get most of mine from nuts and seeds. I use vegeatble and olive oil for cooking, too.

Conniecrafter said...

I have never made my own suet cakes for the birds I always buy it, and they have been going through it more this cold winter that is for sure.

Teresa said...

Me ha encantado tu publicación. Besitos.

Sandra Cox said...

I do a lot of cheese, nuts and olive oil.
Great recipe for the birds. Thanks, Jan.

Lowcarb team member said...

Teresa said...
Me ha encantado tu publicación. Besitos

Google translate:
I loved your publication. Kisses.

Denise inVA said...

I just came inside from refilling ours. I was interested in Linda's comment about the red pepper in a suet cake. Makes sense but I have never heard of that before. Must try and make my own suet cakes. I have always bought them before. Thanks Jan and have a great weekend :)

Lowcarb team member said...

Reply to thoughts and comments from Linda and Denise regarding Hot Pepper Suet, other readers may be interested too!

How to Make Hot Pepper Suet
When winter approaches, wild birds’ natural food supplies begin to diminish. You can help the feathered friends in your garden survive by making hot pepper suet. If you have a problem with squirrels, raccoons and other foraging pests, hot pepper suet serves another useful purpose. While the birds will happily eat the hot suet because they don't have well-developed taste buds, squirrels and raccoons will try it once then stay away, deterred by the hot, spicy capsaicin, the main ingredient in hot peppers.

Birds That Love Suet
Wrens, cardinals, nuthatches, woodpeckers, chickadees, starlings and most insect-eating birds love to eat suet, which is basically a solidified mixture of fats. Suet keeps birds warm and boosts their food intake during the winter, when natural grub is scarce.

Hot Pepper Suet Ingredients
To make hot pepper suet, you need melted fat, such as beef fat or lard, yellow cornmeal, natural peanut butter, powdered cayenne pepper and fresh habanero or Scotch bonnet peppers. If you don't have cornmeal, you can use almost any seed or grain, including birdseed. Rolled oats and dried fruits, like apricots, currants or raisins are optional.

Hot Pepper Suet Cake Recipe
The first step in the suet cake recipe is to pulverize the fresh habanero or Scotch bonnet peppers in a blender or food processor and set them aside.
Place your lard and peanut butter in a microwave-safe bowl and heat it in the microwave until it is melted, then stir it well. If you want to add rolled oats or dried fruits, do it now, adding one spoonful of oats at a time and stirring well as you go.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the cornmeal and cayenne pepper. Add the melted lard mixture to the dry ingredients, mix well, then spoon in the pulverized peppers and mix again. Spoon the mixture into small containers, such as tuna fish cans. You can then refrigerate or freeze them as required. Transfer any suet you don't use within a week to the freezer in freezer bags.
When you're ready to feed the birds, fasten the containers securely to trees or feeders. You can also stuff your hot pepper suet mixture into one-inch holes drilled in small logs, and hang the logs from trees.

Please see article/read more here
https://sciencing.com/hot-pepper-suet-4840403.html

In the present cold weather so many areas/countries are experiencing it's important to think of our feathered friends, as well as our next door neighbour, who may also be struggling to cope.

Let's be friends and neighbours to all who may need extra help during this bad weather.

All the best Jan

William Kendall said...

Woodpeckers seem to love suet.

Snowbird said...

The birds will certainly be grateful for all the help they can get at the moment.xxx

Kezzie said...

Thanks for the recipe! I will certainly try to make some fat balls for the birds as I get super annoyed by the plastic wrapping and netting on bought ones!!! We have lots of old nuts and seeds too to use which will be useful to use up!

Carol Blackburn said...

Here is a laugh for you today; the last time we bought suet for the birds my husband read the ingredients and said, "if there is a zombie apocolypse we are going to the store and grabbing all the bird suet because these ingredients are like Keto." Think about it! Let everyone else take the other foods and you take the suet cakes, etc. Could save your life. That's if there is a zombie apocalypse and we all know how that goes. LOL

Magic Love Crow said...

Excellent post Jan! Thank you!