Blackened Birdseed: A Recipe by Matt Schindler

Polestar Gardens Blackened Birdseed Recipe

Shelf stable

Energy dense

A Healthy Hawaiian Recipe

No matter how many times I have served this dish and its variations I am consistently surprised that those served actually enjoy it. When preparing each ingredient I do well to remind myself that it is basically ‘bird seed’.

Although I think I heard somewhere that not all birds subsist on a diet of seeds, I am quite certain that the loud, edgy sounding ones that wake me most mornings, do. I therefore conclude that these same birds haven’t followed this recipe.


  • Coconut oil
  • Bulb onion
  • Garlic
  • Oregano
  • Korean chili flakes
  • A variety of seeds suited to your life (I like peanut, sesame, flax, cacao, coffee, cumin)
  • Dried fruit


  1. Depending upon seed choice they may be ground before using to increase the chances your guests will not spit at you.
  2. In a cast iron skillet over medium high heat combine and caramelize the onion, garlic, oregano and coconut oil.
  3. In an alternate cast iron skillet, toast seeds and chilies over medium high heat. 
  4. Now stir the contents of both pans together and taste… not very good, huh?
  5. Balance the sweet, sour, bitter, salt, savory and aromatic flavors.


Accept that you are using ingredients (cacao, coffee, garlic, onion, oregano, chilies) that no self respecting bird would even consider allowing to touch its beak, let alone swallow and ask for more. Treat these ingredients accordingly.

Take a moment to consider the size and moisture content of each seed. Visualize the residual water within the center of each seed vaporizing, causing the energy packed starches therein to swell and burst through the brittle seed coat. Toast the seeds so that they begin to blacken and pop.

Through a combination of heat and fracture you will sublimely evoke from each ingredient the utmost complexity of aroma, flavor and hue.

Like this recipe? Join Matt for the Polestar Gardens Culinary Camp and learn many more!