We decided it was high time to make another bulk batch of homemade natural dog treats for Basil. Our last batch of fresh apple treats ran out fairly quickly and we've been wanting to try something new. Not only can the recipe base we use allow for all sorts of natural ingredient combinations, it really helps us cut down on the amount we spend on natural treat varieties from the store (plus, we can't help but think they are a tiny bit healthier knowing exactly what goes into them).
This go round, we opted for fresh carrots and bananas in place of the apples from our first batch and forwent the brown sugar since the bananas are naturally sweet.
We tripled the following recipe since we like to stock up. This yields us roughly 40 large 4" treats, so if you use a smaller size cookie cutter you'll get more than enough:
- 2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup cornmeal
- 1 bunch fresh carrots, finely chopped or grated
- 2-3 fresh bananas, peeled and mashed
- 1 beaten egg
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar (*optional, we went without)
- 1/2 cup cold water
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease cookie sheets.
Combine dry ingredients (flour, cornmeal & *brown sugar) in large mixing bowl, then incorporate carrots, bananas, egg, oil, and water until well blended into workable dough.
Note: With both the carrots and bananas, I chopped them into large pieces, then slowly pulsed them in our food processor. This not only saved me time, but created semi-regular sized carrot chunks and smooth banana mash to blend right into the rest of the base ingredients. I left the pulsed carrot pieces fairly chunky instead of pureeing them, because I like the idea of being able to see the actual carrot pieces throughout each treat.
Flour your workspace and roll out dough to desired thickness. We went with about 1/2 inch thickness to allow for some expansion once baked. Cut cookies to desired shape and size — I used our 4 inch dog bone shape from a cookie cutter I bought off Etsy. Find more variations and sizes here.
Place dog cookies on baking sheet and bake 35 minutes...
Which one of these isn't like the other? See that little heart shaped cookie — I made that out of the leftover scraps of dough that wouldn't quite stretch into another bone shape. I'm saving it for Valentine's Day, shhhh.
Look who decided to wait by the oven just to make sure things were shaping up OK:
After baking, turn oven off and leave cookies inside for another 30-45 minutes until crisp. This step is important to make sure your treats harden up, otherwise they will remain like soft cookies.
Once crisp, remove dog cookies from oven and let cool. Transfer to zipper bags or airtight containers and freeze to preserve freshness for your little one!
Basil was beyond thrilled with this batch, dare I say he enjoyed them even more than the apple treats! Here he is doing one of his favorite tricks — waiting patiently for the "OK" to eat the treat placed on his front paw:
And again, not being quite as patient — but hey, can you blame him?
We're looking forward to trying out new variations on this go-to dog treat recipe and hope you'll let us know what's working for you if you try it out too!