Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Power Pup Petals

After making pumpkin bars for thanksgiving (same recipe as I used for Baby Brother's Birthday Box, but with white chocolate and cranberries instead of mini chips) I had some leftover puree. I hate having ingredients go bad, even if it was around 3/4 cup of it. That coupled with really starting Olive's formal training, I decided to making training treats. She has some Petco Pal cookies that I break up but I wanted something I could break up as I went instead of breaking up ahead of time to prevent a delayed reward, also needed something high value that she only gets while training. After looking at a couple of different dog treat recipes and the nutritional information (yes, I'm concerned about my dog's nutrient intake, she's just as active as I am afterall) I came up with the following treat, which gets Olive super-focused...

You Need:

198 g (around 3/4 cup) pumpkin puree
120 g (1 cup) Peanut Flour
5 g (1 T) flax, ground
1/2 t dried/ground ginger
1 t cinnamon
3 T water
1 large egg

1. Mix all ingredients, adjust ratio of wet to dry as needed to get a fairly firm texture.
2. If using a cookie press: Choose a shape that naturally lends it self to be broken into smaller pieces easily, the pumpkin is cute but it doesn't fit the purpose of this cookie (if you're using them for gifts or spoiling your dog, by all means, go ahead). Bake on a silpat or unlined sheet, do not use parchment paper, it will only end in tears as it keeps pulling up with the dough. My press yielded 58 cookies.
If making rolled cookies: Sandwich the dough between two large sheets of parchment paper. Press to a roughly rectangular shape then roll to 1/4" thick. Slice into your desired size. 1/2" squares then cut into triangles would work well as training treats, full squares would be fine but it would just mean a higher calorie load. Line two or more baking sheets, you can reuse your parchment paper if you want here, and carefully spread out your treats to at least 1/4" apart.
3. Bake at 350 until browned and well set, for my pressed cookies that was 12-13 minutes. Let cool completely before bagging/freezing.
4. For drier/chewier treats: You have two options for less crumbly training treats (depends on your dog's preference, I guess, Olive tends to forget to chew soft treats.) One is use a dehydrator. The other is to stick all the cooled cookies in the oven, heat to around 400 and then turn it off and let the cookies sit for 8-10 hours until fairly dry.

- The flax egg and the regular egg can each be switched for one or the other. If you keep a vegan household, then used two flax eggs, if you don't keep flax in the house (it is good for you and your dog), use two chicken eggs
- If you want to use a full cup of pumpkin puree, just keep an eye on the consistency, you might need to cut back on the water or up the flax or peanut flour to get a thick enough texture for the cookie press (if using)
- Most flours would work, depending on your dog's allergies. Peanuts are a special weakness for Olive and with her allergies, I wanted to avoid testing them with anything else. Peanut flour is also slightly lower calorie than oat flour, my other option (buckwheat also works for her but I never have that on hand.)

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