Monday, January 14, 2013

Dogs: Cranberry Pie Doggy Treats

If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went. – Will Rogers

I haven't tasted these (not that I couldn't) but I imagine they
are slightly sweet from all the dried cranberries in them. Yum!

All the ingredients
Henry’s birthday was Wednesday so I made him some parsley-pumpkin treats (see recipe here). They were quite a hit. So much so that they are almost all gone.

He really liked them. In fact when you gave him one he ran into the dining room to eat it in secret. Does a dad’s heart good when his boy loves his cookin’.

In Henry’s defence, he didn’t eat ALL the treats. He did give some to his friend Lucy. I believe she enjoyed them as much as Henry. But it’s difficult to know, she’s a Lab… (just kidding, G).

These treats are a pretty big hit too. He stands in front of the shelf where they are, staring. That’s good, because these have some very healthful ingredients. Just how healthy?

Cranberries are very good to have in a dog’s diet. Cranberries (and/or juice) helps lower the pH of urine in the urinary tract. This makes for a more hostile environment for any bacteria that can cause infections.

Cranberries are an ingredient in some very expensive holistic commercial dog foods.

Pumpkin is a great source of fibre for our furry pals. Because of this it can help balance out either constipation or diarrhea. It can also help with upset stomachs or indigestion.

This is a close-up of the cranberry, ground with some of the
rolled oats to show size. Note the parsley in the bottom.
Parsley is a breath freshener to help make all those kisses a little…sweeter. It also is high in Vitamins A, B and C, plus calcium, magnesium and iron.

We hear a lot about fillers in cheap dog food that are bad for dogs, but oats are actually good. The protein in oats is digestible by dogs, unlike corn. Wild oats contain even a higher level of protein. I doubt I’ll be gathering (or sowing!) wild oats any time soon, though.

Make sure your dog is not sensitive before you feed treats made with grains. If they are, substitute a non-grain “filler.” For example, grind some quinoa. Quinoa are seeds and not a grain.

Who knew you could make such powerhouses out of a few simple kitchen ingredients?

But, as always, the proof is in the pudding. Mr. Henry seemed to think cranberry pies passed muster on that count too!

Cranberry Pie Doggy Treats
Prep: 20 min  | Bake: 1 hr  |  Yield: 48 treats
2-1/2 cups steel cut rolled oats
1/4 cup dried parsley
1 cup dried cranberries, unsweetened
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup canned pumpkin purée
2 eggs
enough flour to make a barely sticky dough

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Place the rolled oats in a food processor and process until well ground, almost like a flour. Remove to a bowl.

Next add the cranberries and process until chopped very fine. Add 1 cup of the processed rolled oats back in and run the motor for about 2-3 minutes. The cranberries will be cut very fine and the flour will turn slightly pink.

Remove the cranberry “flour” to the bowl with the rest of the oats. Add the remaining ingredients (except for the “enough flour” and knead with your hands. The dough will be sticky.

Add just enough white flour (or other flour) to make a dough that holds together without sticking to your hands. It will still feel damp.

Flatten the dough into the bottom of the bowl and divide into six even pieces.

At this point you can use whatever shaping method you prefer. The following is how I made 48 “pies”.

Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Take a 4” baking ring and flatten each of the six pieces of dough into a uniformly thick round.

Cut each of the rounds into eight wedges. Pull the pieces apart slightly so there is air around each treat.

Bake for 40 minutes on the first side. Turn and bake for another 15 minutes on the second side. 

Remove and let cool before giving out to your canine companions.


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