Posted on 31 December 2017
A Foray Into Baking Home Made Dog Treats
I'm not exaggerating if I say it has been a really busy week here with the Facebook group bursting through the 900 members barrier within 2 months of being a mere wisp of a thought, a catalogue to finish for a client, a black mark for missing my wonderful yoga class due to an epic hangover from my 50th birthday celebrations (yoga twists not advisable due to threat of human spillage) plus the ever pressing need to get lift off on the My Chi and Me website for a 'soft launch' which essentially means you can look but please be nice as its still a work in progress and we aren't staffed as well as The White Company web team haha.
Being the perfect 'wife', chi mum, mother to two adorable teenage hoomans, bit part blogger, one half of a web site developer team (yes Manly Man as he's known plus me) and one woman 'lifestyle' business operator is definitely not an easy ask. Cue Batch One burnt offerings of parmesan and sweet potato biscuits I had so perfectly and slightly smugly prepared, stamped out and delivered to a hot oven, despite only being able to find a star cutter (left over from Christmas), a tiny gingerbread man (no appendages thankfully) and a butterfly cutter from who knows where. Down the back of the kitchen drawer maybe?
Although the fur babies scoffed them, enjoyed them, asked for more and didn't complain or regurgitate them, still those annoying phrases 'winning at life' and 'so blessed' certainly didn't feel as relevant as 'epic fail'.
The thing is you just have to try your best and not get sucked into the false belief that everyone is better at things than you are because as the saying goes 'God Loves a Trier'. Not trying is worse than trying and not getting something quite right so here we go with the good stuff: These lovely 'biscuits' (which can also be made with less flour and a little more oil to be softer in texture so very good for your furry senior with their dental problems and missing teeth) are vegan, grain free, contain only 5 simple ingredients, are easy to adapt, quick to make and taste really nice with a glass of dubious red wine when its past midnight (now Sunday 00.06 according to my timer) and you're losing the will to live after a day longer than Noah's trip on the Ark.
Sweet potatoes are full of good vitamins and minerals and packed with antioxidants to help prevent cancer and promote healing. They are also full of fibre and good for digestion. For convenience I decided to roast the sweet potato which worked out fantastically well though I was tempted just to eat it myself as starvation had set in through sitting rigid for too long staring at a computer. After roasting it just let it cool and simply peel the skin off. The other ingredients used were rolled oats as they rarely cause a reaction and have excellent anti inflammatory properties and are often included in food and products for itch relief in dogs. They also help to prevent high blood pressure, are heart healthy and provide an immune system boost.
Back on the subject again (it's difficult after such a long day) the other ingredients used were coconut flour, as my two are on a mainly grain free diet, but you can use any other types of flour depending on your dogs digestive status, or you can even use rolled oats and zap them in the food processor to make a type of flour.
The parmesan was from Aldi and was 'costs more money in the black packaging' type but you can use any parmesan. Grate it really finely and add along with a couple of tablespoons of melted pure solid coconut oil. I narrowly avoided another trip to my plastic surgeon (that's another story) by belatedly grabbing a pair of oven gloves to retrieve the boiling coconut oil from the microwave as although my family claim I have asbestos hands when removing pizzas from a hot oven using only my fingertips, sadly the microwave heats the oil to temperatures only experienced in the fires of hell so please do be really careful.
So to recap its just:
1. One whole roasted sweet potato - skin removed after cooking when cool and blitzed in the food processor until smooth. You need 100g approx of this.
2. 100g rolled oats - throw those in whole if using coconut flour as well but if not blitz first to a flour consistency before adding the sweet potato and blitzing again
3. 100g coconut flour if your dogs are on a grain free diet
4. 2 tbsp pure coconut oil melted in the fires of hell
5. Finely grated parmesan cheese 50g
Make quite a fairly dry dough like pastry and add a little boiling water if it turns out to be too dry. Shape into a flat patty and allow to chill for 15 minutes in the fridge wrapped in clingfilm to make it easier to roll. A silicon board is great if you have one as its non stick, otherwise remember to flour your board and rolling pin so the dough doesn't stick.
Roll out the dough so it is nice and thin and press out your shapes. I used the smallest cutters I had and they were a perfect size. Heat the oven to about 170-180 degrees (mine was too hot) and cook for about 20-25 minutes until you get the lovely smell of that parmesan, which I regrettably ignored as I was looking at dog jumpers from Peru on the website.
Allow to cool and ingest with copious amounts of your favourite tipple, throwing a few casually to the expectant fur babies if you have an eye on this weeks weigh in for My Chi and Less of me. Chiao bambinos! Much love and Chi dreams x