How to Make Popcorn Balls for Birds

Опубликовал Admin
23-06-2021, 04:20
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Popcorn balls are fun and easy to make. They are also a great treat for wild or pet birds! Begin making the popcorn balls by popping the popcorn and then adding the bird seed and dried cranberries. Drizzle warm honey and nut butter over the popcorn mixture and then let it all cool. Shape the ingredients into balls and wrap them in twine so that you can hang them up for birds to enjoy!

Mixing the Ingredients

  1. Pop the popcorn kernels on the stovetop using vegetable oil. Adjust the stovetop temperature to a medium heat and heat up 2.25 US tbsp (33.3 ml) of vegetable oil in a pot. Then carefully pour 1/4 cup (56 g) of unpopped popcorn kernels into the pot and cover it with a lid. Wait for approximately 30 seconds, until you can hear the popcorn popping! When the popping sound slows down to 2-3 seconds between each pop, take the lid off the pot and remove the pot from the heat.
    • This makes approximately 8 cups of popped popcorn.
    • Don't add salt, butter, or any other toppings to the popcorn.
  2. Mix together the popcorn, bird seed, and dried cranberries. Get a large bowl that is big enough to fit all of the ingredients and transfer the popcorn into the bowl. Then measure out 1 cup (128 g) of bird seed and 1/4 cup (30 g) of dried cranberries, and add these into the bowl. Use a wooden spoon to stir the popcorn, bird seed, and dried cranberries together.
    • Be careful not to touch the popcorn, as it might still be warm
    • Use a bird seed that's made for the type of birds you want to feed. For example, use a wild bird seed mix if you want to feed wild birds in your backyard. Alternatively, use a species-specific type of bird seed if you want to feed your pet bird.
    • Dried apricots, cherries, and blueberries also work well.
  3. Heat 1/3 cup (113 g) of honey for 2-3 minutes until it's thin. Measure out the honey and pour it into a small saucepan. Adjust the temperature setting to a medium heat and stir the honey occasionally with a wooden spoon as it warms. Keep the honey on the heat once it has thinned.
  4. Stir 4 tbsp (80 g) of unsalted peanut or almond butter into the honey. Use a measuring spoon to measure out the unsalted peanut or almond butter. Then place the nut butter directly into the saucepan with the honey. Use a wooden spoon to combine the nut butter and the honey, and then remove the saucepan from the heat once the ingredients are well combined.
    • Birds love both peanut and almond butter!
    • It's best to use an unsalted nut butter because birds can't digest salt well. In large quantities, salt can be toxic to birds.
  5. Stir the honey and nut butter into the popcorn mix. It's time to combine all of the ingredients together! Drizzle the warm honey and nut butter mixture into the large bowl with the popcorn, bird seed, and dried cranberries. Use a wooden spoon to mix the ingredients thoroughly and to give the popcorn an even coating.

Cooling and Shaping the Popcorn Balls

  1. Wait for 10 minutes to let the ingredients cool. Place the bowl with the ingredients in it aside for a short amount of time. This is because the popcorn mixture might still be quite warm and it needs to be cool before you can touch it.
    • After 10 minutes, hold your hand just above the popcorn mixture. If it doesn't feel hot, touch a small piece carefully to check that it's cool.
  2. Shape the popcorn mixture into tennis ball-sized spheres. Spray your hands with non-stick cooking spray first so that the ingredients don't stick to your hands and you can work easily. Then take a small handful of the popcorn mixture and roll it into a ball in your palms. Rest each ball on a plate or a tray once it's done.
    • The shape doesn't have to be perfect, as the birds will enjoy the treats regardless!
    • Alternatively, you can use a popcorn baller to shape the popcorn balls.
    • You can store the popcorn balls in an airtight container for 2-3 days if you don't want to use them straight away.
  3. Wrap yarn around the popcorn balls and then hang them up. Now that you have made the popcorn balls, it's time to hang them up for the birds to enjoy! Wrap yarn or twine a few times around each ball and then hang them up on branches, perches, or cage wire. Make sure that the yarn or twine feels tight so that the popcorn balls are secure.
    • It's safest to only feed the birds popcorn balls as an occasional treat, rather than as an everyday food. This is because birds thrive best on a natural diet.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup (56 g) of unpopped popcorn kernels
  • 2.25 US tbsp (33.3 ml) of vegetable oil
  • 1 cup (128 g) of bird seed
  • 1/4 cup (30 g) of dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup (113 g) of honey
  • 4 tbsp (80 g) of unsalted peanut or almond butter
  • Non-stick cooking spray
Makes 12 popcorn balls

Tips

Things You'll Need

  • Pot with lid
  • Large bowl
  • Measuring cup
  • Wooden spoon
  • Small saucepan
  • Measuring spoon
  • Plate or tray
  • Yarn or twine
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