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Monday, 1 February 2016

Monday Mix : Garden Birds, Fat Cakes and LC Blueberry Muffins

I think at times we can all be guilty of 'walking around with our eyes closed', we have things on our mind and we rush from one place to another ... But if we take a moment to look around us we may just spot and hear something that we 'missed' the other day.

This weekend in the UK has been the RSPB Garden Bird Watch and it is usually very well supported both in the home and at schools. This survey is important - more than a quarter of British bird species are now in urgent need of help to ensure their survival, conservationists have warned – up from just one-fifth of birds in 2009.

blue tits

A colourful mix of blue, yellow, white and green makes the blue tit one of our most attractive and most recognisable garden visitors. In winter, family flocks join up with other tits as they search for food. A garden with four or five blue tits at a feeder at any one time may be feeding 20 or more.


A distinctive greyish warbler, the male has a black cap, and the female a chestnut one. Its delightful fluting song has earned it the name 'northern nightingale'. Although primarily a summer visitor birds from Germany and north-east Europe are increasingly spending the winter in the UK.

pied wagtail

A delightful small, long-tailed and rather sprightly black and white bird. When not standing and frantically wagging its tail up and down it can be seen dashing about over lawns or car parks in search of food. It frequently calls when in its undulating flight and often gathers at dusk to form large roosts in city centres.

Part of the words above from here

Birds love eating fat balls, sometimes called fat cakes, and at this time of year they're just what they need to give them energy and keep warm. But the feeding balls needn't be shop bought; you can use all sorts of kitchen scraps such as cheese and dry porridge oats. Just mix with melted lard or suet and set in the fridge overnight. It is important to use lard or suet ... why not read more helpful hints here.

... and after a nice walk bird watching perhaps you may appreciate a sit down with a cuppa and a delicious low carb cake. How about one of these 
Blueberry Muffins, made with almond flour...

(makes about 10 muffins, 4.8g carb per cake):
2 eggs
Equivalent of 100 g of sugar (I used 8 tbsp. splenda)
4 tbsp. melted butter
¾ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. lemon zest
1 tsp. vanilla extract
240g almond flour (or ground almond)
150g fresh blueberries
2 tbsp. milk 

1. Preheat oven to 180C
2. Mix dry ingredients (almond flour, lemon zest, sea salt, baking powder and fructose) together.
3. Add wet ingredients (eggs, milk, vanilla extract, butter) and mix well together.
4. Add blueberries and fold in gently.
5. Divide the batter into muffin cups. The batter is quite firm so you will need to use a little spoon to level the batter nicely. The muffin cups should be filled to the top as the batter doesn’t rise much.
6. Bake about 20-25 minutes until lightly browned on the top.

This lovely recipe is on Ewelina's blog, she is a Type 1 Diabetic, see more here

Hope you've enjoyed my Monday Mix ... thanks for reading.

All the best Jan


chris c said...

Not much of note in my garden this year, I think there's still so much wild food around that they are staying out in the fields, and over the road where the gardens back onto more gardens.

That reminds me I haven't had lamb chops for a while, the fat that collects in the pan when I grill them is ideal when mixed with birdseed and peanuts to make bird cake for the bird tables.

Isn't it ironic, we are told to put fat out for the birds because it is healthy, and eat the birdseed ourselves?

Lisa said...

We don't see many in our garden because of the cats, but we can certainly hear them which is lovely.
I like the sound of the muffins, I noticed the frozen blueberries are on sale in Tesco yesterday.
Lisa x

Martha said...

How lovely! We should stop often and look around. Photography forces me to do so, which has turned out to be a real blessing. And thank you for another great recipe!

Lowcarb team member said...

It will be interesting to see the results of this years RSPB Garden Bird Watch. I think the weather has been so 'topsy turvey' ... not easy for birds or anyone to deal with.

It is important to use fat for the birds - if any readers wish to check on what the RSPB recommend please use this link here

Many thanks for your comments - and lamb chops sound very good!

All the best Jan

Lowcarb team member said...

Birds and Cats don't go together!
But it is always good to listen to the sound of bird song.

We just love blueberries, in muffins or in a bowl with double cream ...

Many thanks for your comment

All the best Jan

Lowcarb team member said...

Yes, if you are into photography (like you are) it really does allow you time to appreciate your surroundings. But perhaps we should all try to spend more time being aware ...

Glad you liked the recipe, and many thanks for your comment

All the best Jan