During the holiday season, we love giving gifts to each other, but what if this year you gave back a little to nature? When it gets cold outside, not every animal hibernates or migrates, so in this blog, we're going to show you how to make some yummy-yet-healthy edible ornaments for the animals we share our winters with!
This activity is for all ages, but we do recommend that for the little ones, there is some parental supervision.
- Your favorite cookie cutters or molds
- Thick string or twine
- Wax paper
- 1 cookie sheet or pan
- 1/2 cup of water
- 1 1/2 cup of bird seed
- 2 Tbsp of pectin
- Optional: Ground cayenne pepper
Warm water in a pot on medium heat until steaming. Not boiling!
While waiting for the water to warm, cover your cookie sheet with a piece of wax paper. On the wax paper, place 2 or 3 of your cookie cutters/molds with a string in each one.
If you plan on feeding birds with your ornaments, this optional step could be of use! Add a small amount of ground cayenne pepper into your seed mix. It might be spicy for us humans and our thousands of tastebuds, but for birds, which typically have less than 100 tastebuds, this spice gives the birds some even-more-enjoyable flavor to their snack!
Note: if your plan is to feed the small mammals in your area, this extra flavor could actually act as a deterrent, so go ahead and skip this.
Once the water is warm, pour in the pectin and stir until it has reached an opaque coloration that is without clumps.
Add your seeds into the pectin mix and stir until the seeds are covered and glossy.
Spoon the seed mix into your molds. Make sure to pack them in tight, and cover up the strings!
Place your soon-to-be ornaments in the refrigerator for 3-5 hours.
Once the ornaments are solid in their shapes, very carefully push them out of the molds. Take all the time you need! If you move too fast, there is a chance you might break your ornaments.
Using the string, tie your ornament into a tree outside! We recommend placing the ornaments near your home in a place that you can view them through a window. This way, you get the chance to watch your urban wildlife eat without disturbing their activity.
We love a good snack during the holiday, and your urban wildlife neighbors sure will too! Thanks for stopping by, and happy cooking!
What are some other ways we can help the animals that reside in our neighborhoods? Are their things we shouldn't do? Scour your resources to find some answers!