Thermomix fans who live in North or South America will likely be familiar with hummingbirds. Where I live (on the west coast) the teeny tiny hummingbird is a welcome harbinger of spring that will sometimes overwinter in our warmest Canadian micro-climate. For those who don’t know hummingbirds let me tell you they are cute, cute, cute. And very entertaining too.
Why feed the birds? When done conscientiously, feeding birds home-made nectar is a small act that brings great rewards. It’s easy to get lost in a parallel universe while watching birds. And basically, because they are irresistible as friendly companions in the garden or on the patio! The hummingbird is teeny tiny, zippy fast, and requires great amounts of sugary nectar to power its super speedy little wings. In fact they are so fast that I was unable to photograph them easily and had to resort to digital ‘cutouts’ in the photo above. (Link to hummingbird videos appears below.)
Almost every backyard here has at least one hummingbird feeder, which is dutifully replenished on a regular basis in order to keep the little hummers coming back for our utter delight.
Because hummingbirds are naturally attracted to the nectar of bold red flowers most stores are happy to sell a sugar-dye mixture for stocking our feeders with pink liquid. But it’s not necessary to pay the price of packaged (faux) hummingbird nectar that may contain dye or preservatives. Nor is it necessary for the nectar to be red or pink. It’s always been possible to make your own clear hummingbird food from sugar and water prepared in the correct proportions. And with Thermomix, it’s easier than ever. Gone are the days of watching, stirring, and watching again to make sure the pot of sugar water doesn’t boil over. How long to boil it? What are the correct proportions? Never mind all that, just use the simple recipe below — that’s how I do it!
Hummingbird Food Recipe
(natural nectar alternative)
100 g granulated white sugar (do not substitute)
450 g water (use filtered water if available)
- Put sugar and water into Thermomix bowl. Cook 7 min/100°C/speed 2, (or until the 100°C light stops flashing and becomes solid red). Allow to cool before pouring into clean hummingbird feeder. Reserve and refrigerate any remaining nectar for re-filling feeder as needed.
Notes: This makes enough nectar to fill most hummingbird feeders once or twice. It’s possible to double the recipe if you want to keep more prepared nectar in the fridge but be aware that you will need to increase cooking time. It’s necessary to bring water to boiling point before cooling the nectar for use. (This means cooking at 100°C/speed 2 until the 100°C light stops flashing.)
- Of course we do! Who wouldn’t want more hummingbird action? To see a variety of hummingbirds feeding and nesting click this YouTube link
- Bird-watchers who are also gardeners will want to know how Thermomix can help make faster compost more easily.
- Do hummingbirds visit where you live? It would be fun to hear from Thermomix fans who use the super kitchen machine to help feed these birds in other regions!