Dill

Here in our home, we grow our own dill, in the months that we can.  We use it often for our own dinners, so we figured, why not let out gliders enjoy it, as well?

Dill

Found year round in the produce section of your local grocery, dill has an unmistakable (and yummy!) smell, one that your gliders are sure to love!  This delicacy is as simple as can be – the entire stalk is okay to feed, so simply chop and feed!  Or, to change things up a bit, just put a few sprigs here and there in the cage and let them find them and chew!  It’s really as easy as that!

Yoggies, Yogurt Drops & White Morsels

Probably one of the most popular treats given to our gliders are yoggies.  There are several different vendors who sell them within the glider community.  Basically, these are little drops made of sugar LOL.  They should be fed in moderation and only as a treat, not as a part of any diet plan.

Did you know, though, that you can find these same “yoggies” at your local grocery store?  It is not necessary for you to purchase them online or from any one particular vendor.

Nestle White MorselsSimply go into the baking aisle of the market, in the chocolate chip section, and look for “White Morsels” or “White Chips”.  There are brands such as Ghirardelli and Nestle and of course, you will find the generic and/or store brands there, too.  We use Nestle White Morsels and the gliders love them.  When I purchase multiple packages, I place the extras in the freezer until I’m ready to use them.

If you’ve got the time and the patience, you can also make your own!

INGREDIENTS
  • Frozen fruit (strawberry, mango, blueberry, raspberry, or any kind you like; you’ll only need about ¼ cup of fruit puree)
  • Plain Greek yogurt (I like using whole-milk yogurt. Greek works best because of it’s thick texture)
  • Honey or pure maple syrup (optional)
Homemade Yogurt Drops
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Line a small sheet pan with parchment paper (make sure your sheet pan can fit in your freezer).
  2. Thaw ¼ – ½ cup of your frozen fruit (depending on how many drops you want to make). Using a food processor or blender, puree the fruit until very smooth. Set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, measure ½ cup of plain Greek yogurt. Add 3-4 tablespoons of the fruit puree to the yogurt (depending on your taste) and mix well.
  4. Add a drizzle of honey or pure maple syrup to sweeten the yogurt a bit if you’d like.
  5. Spoon the yogurt mixture into a squeeze bottle or small ziploc bag (snip off a small corner for piping). Pipe small drops (about the size of a dime or penny) onto your prepared sheet pan.
  6. Freeze for at least 20 minutes and up to a few hours. Remove the pan from the freezer and peel off the yogurt drops. Enjoy immediately or store leftover drops in a small, freezer-safe container in the freezer for several weeks.

Fruity Goodness…

While perusing the exotic fruit and vegetable section of the grocery one day, I came across this tiny, fragrant green article of what I assumed was a fruit.  My gosh, it smelled so good.  The tag said feijoa.  I’d never heard of it, but of course, being feijoaadventurous, I popped it into the cart and went on my way.

They aren’t necessarily cheap, but when I can find them at our local market, I buy them.  They are loved here by every single glider, and frankly, I love cutting them up because they just smell so darned good!

Similar to so many others, the prep work is simple.  Cut and feed.  No need to peel, no need to scoop (though you can if you’d like), just pop a few pieces in each of their feeding dishes, along with the rest of their fruits and veggies for the evening.

TIP:  Don’t forget to keep a few bites for yourself.  You’ll thank me, and you’re welcome.

I Root For This One!

Several years ago, I went to the grocery store and just for fun, bought this cool looking vegetable called a Jicama.  I had no idea what it was, and had no idea what to do with it.  I got home and got to chopping and much to my surprise, I couldn’t get my knife to penetrate the outer skin.  I sliced and I sliced, and oh, what a stringy mess!  Hello, sweet vegetable – you will not win!  LOL

Don’t be me.  Read this post so you know how to cut a jicama.  Save yourself from the depths of despair and learn from my mistakes.  PEEL IT FIRST!Jicama

Let me back up.  Jicama is a wonderful tuber and believe it or not, a member of the legume family.  Though large, it grows on vines in warm climates and is sometimes called a “Mexican Turnip”.  The insides are similar to an apple – juicy and crisp, though not nearly as sweet and tasty.  However, the outer skin – hard, inedible and stringy – can be toxic so it’s important that this root vegetable is peeled using either a peeler or paring knife, prior to feeding.

You can simply give it raw, or pop it in the microwave for a short time to soften it up.  We don’t cook it here, we just peel, chop and serve.  Enjoy!

Bigger Isn’t Always Better

Watermelons!

These beautiful, sweet, watery melons of goodness are a huge favorite in our home and are fed as often as we are able to find them.  Of course, you’ll find them already chopped in your produce section, year-round.  But, beginning in the Spring, you’ll be able to find whole watermelons.  This is where the fun begins.

Let’s talk about choosing the right watermelon:

Field Spot.  Have you noticed that every watermelon has a spot on it watermelon field spot 2that doesn’t quite look like the rest?  This is the field spot, the side of the watermelon that sat on the ground before it was picked.  You want to look for a creamy yellow colored field spot.  This is key to the best watermelon!

 

You’ll also see some watermelons that are Watermelonoblong, others that are round.  Are you aware that watermelons have genders?  For real!  The oblong melons are males, the round ones are females.  I know this will be a huge surprise, but the male melons will be more watery, but the round ones…the females…are sweeter!

watermelon webbignHow many times have you picked over a watermelon with scars on it?  You know the ones I’m talking about…see that picture?  That scar is a good thing and something you want to see!  The scarring on a watermelon indicates the number of times the bees touched the flower!  The more times touched, the sweeter the watermelon.

 

The stem – though you don’t often see them at the stores, if you do, look for the dwatermelon stemried and curly stems.  This means that the watermelon was picked when it was ready.  Melons with green and still pliable stems, mean that the fruit was picked too early and will likely not be as sweet.

By the way…size matters.  Don’t assume that the biggest fruit is the best fruit.  Look for an average-sized melon when choosing.

Prepping is simple – chop & feed.  Though your gliders will toss the seeds aside, you needn’t remove them before feeding.  You also do not need to remove the rind.  In fact, your gliders will enjoy large chunks of melon, placed on a plate, so they can gather ’round!  Feeling more creative?  Hang a slice from the top of the cage, cutting out a bit of the middle so your gliders can climb on, hang and eat!  Oh, the fun!

Just Beet It!

So…a funny story.  One morning, I went down to the glider room to gather food dishes.  What I saw, made my heart drop to my knees, it was the scene from a horrific crime scene.  Someone was dead, I was sure of it.  I slowly opened the cage, afraid of what I would find.  The blood was everywhere.  All I could think was, “But why?  They have all gotten along for SO long!!  How could this happen?”  Slowly, I open the mouth of their cube, ready to find the poor victim.  And there, right in front of me…six, sleepy-eyed fuzzy faces, wondering why in the world I was making such a ruckus. LOL

Beets.  I’d fed beets for the first time the night before.  And clearly, they were a hit, because the “blood” was everywhere.  I’m pretty sure a cry escaped, simply from the pure rush of adrenaline, thinking a massacre had surely happened some time during the night.  But nope…it was just the beets. Beets

Beets come in a variety of colors, but you’ll mainly find the dark reddish purple ones at the grocery.  The vegetable and their greens are fine to feed and in fact, are packed full of vitamins and other essential nutrients.  They are a chop and serve vegetable, no special serving or prepping requirements at all!

I won’t forget the Glider Massacre anytime soon LOL.  But, I sure do feed beets often, that’s for sure, though without the morning after excitement, since I now know what to expect.  Feed these wonderful vegetables.  Your gliders will thank you.

That’s Amoré…

What’s for dinner tonight?  Pasta, you say?  Don’t be greedy and keep it all to yourself…share with your gliders!

PastaI’m not kidding.  Gliders can have, and most love, pasta.  Now, this doesn’t mean that you should give them a helping of your finished dish.  No, no, no.  That’s not what I mean.  However, you can take out a few of those pieces of pasta – lasagna, spaghetti, fettuccini, linguini – whatever you’re eating, let it cool down, cut it into pieces and voilá, toss it in their dish and you’re done!

Pasta is not meant to be a staple in their diet, nor should it be fed daily.  Everything in moderation and fed as a special treat or as part of their meal on “junk food” nights, they’ll think it’s simply delicious.