Tuesday, December 18, 2018

DIY Vegan Suet Bird Feeder

Photo of suet feeder with DIY vegan suet hanging on a tree branch outside with frosty yard in the background. https://trimazing.com/


Years ago, back when I was first vegan, I went to buy some suet feeders as we had a cold snap coming. As I grabbed them off the shelf at the bird store, I suddenly realized that they were made from animal productssuet is made from rendered animal fat. Birds do eat insects and worms and have been known to eat bits of frozen animal carcasses, but I really couldn't bring myself to buy a feeder made from fat rendered from farmed animals. I asked the shop if they had any that did not contain animal suet, but they had never considered it and didn't stock any. In fact, I still have never seen any in wild bird supply shops!

So I decided to see if I could make a vegan version. And lo and behold, I found recipes online! It is really simple and is a great project for kids!

I recently found another Make Your Own Suet recipe from the Audubon Society that came from the Misfit Baker (this site apparently doesn't exist anymore, so I cannot link to it). I like this version as it includes some additional grains in it so there isn't big areas of pure vegetable fat between the larger seeds.

What You Need


Photo of supplies used to make suet feeder, including suet feeder cage, quart jars of oats, bird seed, and cornmeal, a blob of vegetable shortening, empty plastic tofu container, and a stainless steel ice cube tray. https://trimazing.com/
Vegan Suet Feeder Supplies

  • Reloadable Suet Feeder
  • A Mold, I use empty plastic tofu trays and ice cube trays (I love these stainless steel trays)
  • Vegetable Shortening or Coconut Oil
  • Nut Butter of choice, I used peanut
  • Wild Bird Seed
  • Quick Oats
  • Cornmeal, I used coarse meal
Exact amounts of ingredients are in the Audubon Society's blog post.

Steps


Mix the bird seed, oats, and cornmeal into a large bowl. 

Melt together the shortening or oil with the nut butter. Pour the melted liquid into the dry ingredients and stir well. 

Photo of the author pouring a bowl of melted vegetable oil and peanut oil into a bowl containing mixed wild bird seed, quick oats, and cornmeal. https://trimazing.com/
Pouring melted oil and nut butter into seeds and grains

Spoon the mixture into your molds and smooth the top.

Photo of the author using a large stainless steel spoon to smooth down the top of the DIY vegan suet in a plastic tofu container. https://trimazing.com/
Smoothing down the top

Photo of a stainless steel ice cube tray with DIY vegan suet feeder in it. https://trimazing.com/
Using an ice cube tray to mold suet block cubes


Freeze until solid. I wait a couple of hours. And then unmold and put into the feeder cage.

Photo of unmolded DIY vegan bird suet from the plastic tofu tray and stainless steel ice cube tray. https://trimazing.com/
Unmolded suet block and cubes

The tofu trays make suet cakes in the perfect size, but if you don't have them, you can just pack the feeder with cubes.

The birds and squirrels love these. As long as it's cold outside, less than 50 degrees, the vegetable suet stays solid.

Photo of suet feeder with DIY vegan suet hanging on a tree branch outside with two chickadees on it. https://trimazing.com/
Chickadees enjoying vegan suet

Photo of suet feeder with DIY vegan suet hanging on a tree branch outside with a gray squirrel on a limb above. https://trimazing.com/
He thinks we can't see him...

Photo of suet feeder with DIY vegan suet hanging on a tree branch outside with squirrel hanging upside down eating. https://trimazing.com/
The squirrels are so entertaining to watch on the suet feeder!

I make a bunch at once and keep them in the freezer to have all winter. The squirrels make fast work of the suet, so if you have squirrels, be prepared to replace often or use a squirrel-proof feeder. We don't mind feeding the squirrels as well as the birds.

Besides being vegan, this can be a zero waste project as well. My local hardware store, Grange Supply, sells wild bird seed in bulk, which is awesome! Or you can sometimes find wild bird seed in paper sacks at feed stores. Coconut oil comes in glass jars, but I've not found vegetable shortening come that way, only in plastic. And I love having something I can do to reuse those pesky plastic tofu containers!

Have you tried making vegan suet feeders? What was your experience?

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

January 2019 Classes!


It's been busy around Trimazing! HQ as I've been working on several new classes that start this winter, after the first of the year:

A Clean Start to the Year: Green Housekeeping Workshop for a Naturally Non-Toxic Clean Home - January 12, 2019, 1-2 PM



Are you concerned about the chemicals in your cleaning supplies? Looking for options that are safer for your family, pets, and the environment? Want to save money too? Then join me for a green housekeeping workshop to kick start your year to a non-toxic clean home that saves time and money!

Learn:
  • Health and environmental concerns of cleaning supplies
  • Safer, non-toxic alternatives, including recipes for common household cleaners you can make yourself
  • Waste-reducing and money saving tips
  • And make your own dishwasher soap to take home!
Space is limited, so sign up today to reserve a seat. Cost is $10 to cover materials.


And check out the Facebook event page.


Zero Waste 101 - January 20, 2019, 1-2 PM



Feeling like it's time for some waste reduction in your New Year?

Have the recent garbage rate hikes got you frustrated? Join Cindy with Trimazing! Vegan Lifestyle & Health Coaching to learn what's going on with our garbage and why the sudden increases in our garbage rates. We'll go over the five principles of Zero Waste and learn easy and practical things you can apply in your own home or business to reduce your waste, decrease your garbage and recycling bin sizes, and save money!

Register today at: https://trimazing.com/classes or https://zerowaste101.bpt.me . Cost is $10.



More in the Works!


More classes and events are in the works, including a Plant-Based 101 class and speaking engagement at a local animal sanctuary. Plus more events with Sno-Valley Vegans. You can always get up to date class and event information on our webpage at https://trimazing.com/classes or, better yet, subscribe at to get notified when things post: https://trimazing.com/subscribe.

And speaking of the website...stay tuned for a new and improved Trimazing! website with a beautiful downloadable recipe booklet and more! It's gonna be TRIMAZING!