My sun conure loves to eat quinoa

Quinoa is healthy for parrots and people too.

Up until about two years ago I was not familiar at all with quinoa. Many people aren’t familiar with it either and think that it is some sort of exotic foreign food when it has been around for thousands of years and is an American all be it South American crop. I wanted to vary and improve the diet of my parrotlets especially, and offer them some variety as well. Goldie my sun conure and my parrotlets now both love to eat quinoa and so do I actually.

Quinoa (pronounced “keen-nwa”) is actually a seed that is high in good quality protein and calcium, and has important amino acids as well. You can serve it to your parrot either sprouted or cooked. Quinoa has somewhat of a nutty taste but has the consistency and versatility of rice but lots more nutrition for your parrot.

How to cook quinoa for your parrot

1. Rinse– You can skip this step if you have purchased pre-rinsed quinoa. This is necessary to remove the saponins, which gives a bitter flavor to quinoa if it is not removed. I like to give it rinse regardless however.

2. Cook-Two parts water to one part quinoa. Cook till it boils and then simmer for 10-to 15 minutes. You can substitute the water with carrot juice for additional nutritional punch as well.

3.  Add other ingredients such as green and yellow veggies or carrots, then cool and serve. I usually make enough for 2 days but you can freeze some to reheat latter.

How to sprout quinoa for your parrot

Rinse and soak for 30 minutes with an Easy Sprout from Sprout People, which I have, or sprouting jar- just add water, and one tablespoon of apple cider to ward off bacteria if desired. Then drain water and rinse thoroughly and let sit for 12 hours. Then again rinse, drain, and set for another 12 hours. Finally pat dry and serve. The soaking and rinsing awakens the baby plant intensifying the nutrition even more. I sprout enough to last for 2 days only, putting the unused sprouts in the refrigerator.

Where to get quinoa for your parrot

You can order quinoa online from Sun Organic Farm, Nutsonline or even order in bulk from Amazon as well. Quinoa is also in the grocery store but I do find that it is usually just slightly over $10 for one lb 10 oz bag lately. It stores in an airtight container in a cool dark place for up to 1 year.

Goldie prefers quinoa cooked for some reason and my parrotlets like it prepared both ways-go figure. The great thing about it is that it can be shared by both humans and parrots which is great because I love spending time with my birds and we can all eat healthy at the same time too.

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