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Ever since I could hold a spoon, I loved getting creative in the kitchen. Growing up, as one of our weekly chores each of the kids had to plan and cook a dinner for the family. My brothers would always make the fastest, easiest meals they could think of, so we had spaghetti at least once a week. I, on the other hand, never made the same thing twice. I was always trying new, complex recipes. My Mom would call be the Swedish Chef, because every time she would walk in the kitchen she would be met with a cloud of flour and little Jessica wildly throwing ingredients around. My heart has always belonged to baking.
I love to bake!
The problem is that I also love to eat what I make. I have never been the kind of person that can eat one cookie and be satisfied. Meaning, after I taste test one cookie- several more usually follow. This doesn’t even include all the beaters that are licked and raw cookie dough tested along the way. Once I started my weight loss journey, I felt like I couldn’t bake like I used to and stay in control. This was hard for me, because baking is one of my creative outlets.
I wasn’t willing to give up my baking, so I thought of a creative alternative, combining my love for baking and my slight obsession with my dogs. Now, when I get the urge to bake, I make treats for my furry friends, rather than my human friends. By making dog treats, there is absolutely no temptation to lick the bowl or taste test the final product.
Pleasing a Picky Pooch!
My pup Charlie has always been really picky when it comes to dog treats. I have spent so much money trying different store bought dog treats for him, almost all of them end up in the trash can. He is actually really polite about rejecting the treats. He will take the dog treat, pretend to chew it, leave the room, then politely spit it out when he thinks you’re not looking. Whenever I would take him to the pet store with me, the cashier always asks if they can give him a treat. I always reply with, “You can try.” And without fail, he politely takes the treat, but as soon as we get out to the parking lot, the treat is spit out on the sidewalk.
With such a picky dog, who I will go to extraordinary measures to please, I have made hundreds of dog treats trying to find the perfect recipe for Charlie. Through lots of experimenting, I have created recipes for treats that are Charlie dog approved. My other dog, Ella, joined our family a few years ago and she is the opposite of Charlie- she will eat anything and everything that you put in front of her. She loves my homemade treats too, but then again she loves everything.
Not, only are the treats delicious (at least that’s what my dogs tell me), they are also better for your dogs and better for the environment. Skipping all the chemicals and the plastic packaging is a win-win. Both your dogs and Mother Nature will thank you.
Charlie’s Favorite Recipe
Today, I am going to share with you Charlie’s favorite Pumpkin treat. This was the original recipe that I created and has been the basis for all my other puppy creations.
This recipe is so quick and easy to make, you can have a whole batch done in the time it would take you to go out to the store and buy a bag!
To that mixture I add in 2 cups of oat flour. I read somewhere that dogs have a hard time digesting regular flour, so I always use oat flour. You can buy oat flour at a grocery store, or you can make your own. Oat flour can be pricy, so I usually just put regular oats in a coffee grinder and grind it up, until it is a flour consistency. It take a little time, but I have been know to go to extreme measures to save a few dollars.
You may have to add more or less of the oat flour to get the right consistency with the dough. It needs to be able to be rolled out and stay together without being too sticky. Then, all you need to do is roll out the dough and cut out the treats! Of course, I have a plethora of dog themed cookie cutters that I use, but any cookie cutter will work. I found most of my cookie cutters online, it just make it a little bit more fun!
You can also just use a knife and cut it into squares, although I think the cuter the cookie cutter, the better the treat tastes.
Put the treats in a pre-heated oven at 350 degrees. I bake them for 15-20 min, but my pup doesn’t like anything crunchy. If your dog likes crunchy treats you an keep them in for a few more minutes.
Once the treats come out of the oven, make sure that they cool completely before you package them. If you put them in a container when they are still warm, your treats will grow mold quickly. I keep my treats in a mason jar, in my fridge. They will keep on the counter for about a week, but will keep for 2 weeks plus in the fridge.
Now, it Is time to make your doggie’s day! I promise, they will love these treats! Even my picky eater gobbles them up! My cat Carlton has even been know to beg for these treats- they are that good!
You can create so many different variations of this recipe. I have made peanut butter, peanut butter bacon, sweet potato, blueberry, apple and carrot- the list can go on and on. Get creative and share your recipes with me!
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