Just days away from Easter and all the attention seems to be on the Easter Bunny. But what about the other 364 days of the year when our faithful pooches are there for us? Let’s share those bunny carrots and bake up some healthy carrot dog treats!
Treats that Aren’t Junk Food
Not only are homemade treats cost effective, they can be a healthy alternative to store bought. Just look at the benefits of some of the ingredients:
- Grain-free coconut flour – contains medium chain fatty acids, perfect for healthy skin and glossy coat
- Grated carrots – provides vitamins and beta-carotene, improving coat pigment and rich in anti-oxidants
- Banana – high in potassium and tryptophan (converted into serotonin to alleviate depression and stress); bananas also stimulate the healthy bacteria in the gut and are a general aid for digestion
- Eggs – loaded with protein, vitamins and minerals for improved coat condition
- Peanut butter – good source of protein; rich in omega fatty acid, vitamins B and E and niacin
- Pumpkin – a great source of fiber for digestive health, and beta-carotene
- Spinach – a powerhouse of vitamins, minerals and fiber
- Apples – good source of fiber and vitamins A and C (be sure to take out the seeds)
Here are just three of our favorite recipes. Baking time will vary depending on the size and thickness of the treats. Also, if you have any doubt, consult with your veterinarian regarding any possible allergies your dog may have. Enjoy!!
Recipe: Grain-Free Carrot & Banana Cookies
1 1/2 cups of coconut flour
1 cup of mashed ripe bananas
1/2 cup of grated carrots
2 tablespoons of cottage cheese
Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large bowl add your coconut flour, mashed banana, grated raw carrot, cottage cheese and eggs. Combine all 5 ingredients, mix thoroughly.
Cut out your shape of preference with a cookie cutter, then place cookies on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Let cool completely.
Recipe: Spinach, Carrot and Zucchini Treats
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
2 large eggs
1/2 cup old fashioned oats
3 cups whole wheat flour, or more, as needed
1 carrot, peeled and shredded
1 zucchini, shredded
1 cup baby spinach, chopped
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat pumpkin puree, peanut butter and eggs on medium-high until well combined, about 1-2 minutes.
Gradually add old fashioned oats and 2 1/2 cups flour at low speed, beating just until incorporated. Add an additional 1/4 cup flour at a time just until the dough is no longer sticky. Add carrot, zucchini and spinach, beating just until incorporated.
Working on a lightly floured surface, knead the dough 3-4 times until it comes together. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough to 1/4-inch thickness. Using cookie cutters, cut out desired shapes and place onto the prepared baking sheet.
Place into oven and bake until the edges are golden brown, about 20-25 minutes. Let cool completely.
Recipe: Apple-Carrot Treats
1 cup of whole wheat flour, brown rice flour, or gluten free flour
1 cup of grated carrots
1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix ingredients together until dough forms. If the dough is really sticky, add a few more tablespoons of flour.
Roll dough into small balls and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Press dough down slightly so the biscuits are about 1/4 inch thick. Bake until golden brown and let cool on a wire rack.
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