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How To Cook Beans For Your Parrot

Cooked beans have a lot of nutrition in them. Get out the pot and find out how to start cooking them today.

Patricia Sund

Follow Patricia Sund on Twitter at @parrotnation

Cooked beans are a marvelous food item for parrots as there are many nutritious properties contained in them. They also contain phytochemicals (phyto is Greek for "plant") The type of phytochemicals found in beans are antioxidants which help protect your bird's system.

Beans are extremely rich in nutrition and while dry beans vary considerably in flavor, size, color, and shape, the composition and nutrition is similar from bean to bean despite their differences in appearance.

One cup of cooked beans provides about 12 grams of fiber, a very important aspect of a bird's diet that aids healthy digestion and they are rich in vegetable protein. I feed them to my African greys almost daily and I use them in a variety of my recipes including Chop, Teeny Weenie Beanies, and other healthy recipes.

I prefer to use dry beans, which require soaking for at least eight hours before boiling. You can use canned beans but ensure that the canned variety you select is free of any added salt.

Dry beans also contain oligosaccharides, a type of sugar. They also have a chemical toxin called phytohaemagglutinin. Soak dry beans before cooking. This eliminates many of the sugars as well as the phytohaemagglutinin and you don't want either of these in your beans.

It is the sugars that cause the bacteria in your intestines to produce gas commonly associated with beans. You can remove the sugars by soaking beans overnight, or for at least eight hours and then boiling them for at least 15 minutes. This will remove any toxins and unwanted naturally occurring sugars found in beans.

I have found this method to be a safe and efficient way to soak and cook beans for my birds:

  • Place beans in a pot and pick through to check for any mutant beans or the occasional pebble sometimes found in a bag of dried beans.
  • Add enough water to amply cover the beans.
  • Soak beans for 8 hours or overnight.
  • Drain beans, discard soak water and rinse with fresh, cool water.
  • Fill the pot of soaked beans with enough fresh water to cover.
  • Bring to boil and boil in rapidly boiling water for at least 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and drain.
  • Let them cool and add to any bird food recipe requiring the beans.

You'll find them to be a welcome ingredient to many applications and recipes for your flock's diet and once they learn how tasty they are, you will see them dive right in!

Next: How To Throw A Chop Party
5 Reasons You Should Feed Beans To Your Flock

Psittacine Cuisine 

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Posted: September 25, 2014, 7:45 a.m. PDT

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