3 Homemade Christmas Dog Treats

Christmas is all about spreading love, joy and indulgences. We have the festive roast with all its trimmings, Christmas pudding, Christmas cake and just about anything else we could desire but what about our pets? Christmas is another perfect time to show them our love and appreciation by creating some tasty homemade dog treats.

Just remember no sugars, especially chocolate or any other hazardous ingredients which can potentially bring more harm than joy. Yes, you can spoil your dog whilst at the same time being sure the food they have is both safe and tasty and still be free of additives and preservatives; but be smart about it.

Christmas is all about spreading love, joy and indulgences. We have the festive roast with all its trimmings, Christmas pudding, Christmas cake and just about anything else we could desire but what about our pets? Christmas is another perfect time to show them our love and appreciation by creating some tasty homemade dog treats.The natural dog food retailer, Feedem, have shared their top three favourite dog treat recipes with me and today I am passing their knowledge over to you.

Frozen peanut butter yoghurt treats

Despite being human food, peanut butter and yoghurt have become firm favourites with our pooches — and they’re safe for their tummies too. One really easy treat they’ll love is frozen peanut butter yoghurt treats.

Choose a yoghurt that’s free from artificial sweeteners or added sugars. Make sure your peanut butter is unsalted and free from artificial sweeteners too.

Melt one cup of peanut butter in the microwave and mix with 32 ounces of yoghurt. Pour the mixture into cupcake papers and place in the freezer. Once frozen, serve to your dog.

Grain-free dog treats

If you’re catering to a pooch that has a grain allergy, don’t worry — you can still create tasty snacks that won’t upset their stomach. To create these biscuits, you’ll need a cooked, cooled sweet potato, a quarter cup of coconut oil and two cups of quinoa flour.

Preheat your oven to 175°C. Combine the sweet potato and coconut oil in a bowl and mix well. Add the flour cup-by-cup to the bowl until the dough begins to stick together.

Flour your surface and roll out the dough until it’s about a quarter of an inch thick. Cut out the treats and bake for 20-25 minutes. Turn off the oven but leave the treats inside to cool for 45 minutes to an hour. Remove from oven and serve once fully cool.

Cheesy biscuits

Another doggy favourite is cheese — we’ve all seen those begging eyes as we tuck into a pizza! Keep their cravings at bay and make them their very own cheesy biscuits. They only take about 20 minutes to make, so are great if you’re looking for something quick and easy that’s still really tasty!

You’ll need 125g multipurpose flour, 25g of grated parmesan cheese and 25g of grated cheddar cheese, 1 egg and 350ml of evaporated milk.

Preheat your oven to 175°C. Mix all of the ingredients together and ensure they’re well blended. Grease a baking tray and place teaspoon-size balls on the tray, making sure to space them out. Bake for 10-12 minutes.

 

There you have it – three easy yet super tasty recipes for your pooch. I hope you will give them a try over the Christmas season or anytime really as we all deserve a treat from time to time, don’t we? And if you aren’t the cooking type you can always treat your pooch with shop bought treats, but please remember what’s good for you isn’t necessary good for your dog, so please buy treats designed for dogs and don’t feed them humans leftovers, especially no cooked bones as they can be truly dangerous.

Till next time.

* This is a collaborative post.

How To Barbeque Like a Pro – 7 BBQ Tips

Using a barbeque might seem like a very straightforward method of cooking while in fact it’s actually quite complicated and not so easy to master. We love BBQ,  not only in summer but all year round, so I’ve decided to put an action plan together for anyone who wants to BBQ like a pro.

Using a Barbeque might seem like a very straightforward method of cooking while in fact it’s actually quite complicated and not so easy to master. We love BBQ and not only in summer but all year round. So I’ve decided to put an action plan together for anyone who wants to BBQ like a pro.Get the right BBQ

You will never be able to achieve the perfect barbeque meal without the proper tool for the job. The gas barbeques might be tempting due to the clean looks and easy cleaning and start up, but please for the love of all things good do get a proper charcoal one… if you are only tempted by a gas BBQ then save yourself the money and just cook your food in your kitchen cooker instead.

Invest in natural charcoal

These days’ as money is tight for most of us, shoppers are tempted even more by those special offers and super saving deals and prices that look cheap but look beyond that… actually read what’s inside the box. Always buy natural charcoal, yes, it will most likely cost you more but at the end of the day you will eat food cooked in its smoke… so make sure those fumes aren’t harmful.

Plan ahead

Like most cooking, BBQing requires preparation too. Yes, you can just pop a slab of meat on it and hope for the best but think how much more delicious it would be if marinated overnight or kept in some dry rub.

Treat it as an art

Art can’t be rushed and neither can BBQing; it’s an art and it needs time. If you only have an hour and fancy a burger you will be better off using your cooker and a heavy bottom frying pan…

Learn cooking times

There is nothing worse than those burnt on the outside and half raw in the middle pieces of meat that often get served up on your plate. It’s essential to know about temperatures but even more importantly knowing how long each type of food needs to cook in order to be just right. I’ve found an excellent BBQ cooking time table over at Recipes4us but if they are a bit too much for you, why not check this short video prepared by My Voucher Codes.

Don’t be afraid of experimenting

Cooking should be fun, so should BBQing. Don’t just blindly follow the recipe, experiment, add some new spices or veggies into a mix. Be adventurous and I am sure the food will reward you.

Maintain your BBQ

I know how things go… you “slave” the entire day on top of a hot BBQ, eat what you prepared and then decide “I’ll clean it tomorrow”… well, resist the urge to do so. In order to maintain the integrity of your BBQ it needs to be cleaned and it’s easiest straight after the cooking is finally finished – use only natural cleaning products or just water if you can get away with it. Never use sharp abrasive brushes on your racks, they will damage or even remove their non-stick coating. Take good care of your BBQ and in return it will take good care of your food and therefor in turn, you.

What do you like to BBQ, what do you use and where do you do it?

Is there anything else you would add into my list?

* This is a collaborative post.

Carrot Pulp and Peanut Butter Dog Treats

Super easy, quick and tasty dog treats that will make your furry friend work hard for more, I promise. Not only will they provide a nice treat, they will also supply your dog with well needed fibre.

Super easy, quick and tasty dog treats that will make your furry friend work hard for more, I promise. Not only will they provide a nice treat, they will also supply your dog with well needed fibre.

Lately we have been juicing a lot. All is good but after each session we are left with a lot of pulp and it seems like such a waste to simply pop it into the food bin and we are not naturally born gardeners. So this gave me an idea for “recycling” my carrot, apple or whatever pulp that comes out from my juicer. Adding it into the dog biscuits we were making was a no brainer as a first step… so next on the agenda is a human grade cake 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup carrot pulp
  • 1 cup unsalted smooth peanut butter
  • 1 cup organic wholemeal flour
  • 1 egg

Super easy, quick and tasty dog treats that will make your furry friend work hard for more, I promise. Not only will they provide a nice treat, they will also supply your dog with well needed fibre. Method:

Preheat the oven to 160C fan.

Prepare one large baking tray. If you wish, you can line it with some parchment but these cookies do not stick to the tray so that step can be easily skipped.

Pop all ingredients into a mixing bowl and using a silicone spatula mix it well.

After a short while everything will combine and form smooth, easy to play with dough.

Using your hands flatten out the dough in order to cut the desired shape of your finished cookie or if you prefer to do a proper job then use a rolling pin to make sure each cookie is super even in size. Our two dogs don’t care about looks so long as they keep coming, so we opt for the rustic method of rolling.

So I normally use just my hands (less washing up later on) and flatten it out till it is about 1.5cm thick.

While making this batch I’ve had to use a tall slim glass to cut my cookies. The batch ended up yielding 15 pieces.

Super easy, quick and tasty dog treats that will make your furry friend work hard for more, I promise. Not only will they provide a nice treat, they will also supply your dog with well needed fibre.

Once all cookies are cut out or formed into their final shape then place on the baking tray and pop them into the oven and set a timer for 12 minutes (you might need to increase the time to 15 minutes it will all depend on how dry your carrot pulp was and of course your cooker). They should be slightly golden in colour but still a little soft to the touch when pressed.

Once ready remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least 15 minutes on the baking tray. After this time move them onto a cooling rack and allow to cool completely.

Both Lilly and Bunk really liked them so I hope your pooch will enjoy them too.

Super easy, quick and tasty dog treats that will make your furry friend work hard for more, I promise. Not only will they provide a nice treat, they will also supply your dog with well needed fibre.

No-Bake Coconut Squares

This super easy, totally fool-proof dessert will be perfect for any coconut lover. Sweet, chewy coconut goodness set over a crunchy chocolate flavoured base… simple perfection!

This super easy, totally fool-proof dessert will be perfect for any coconut lover. Sweet, chewy coconut goodness set over a crunchy chocolate flavoured base… simple perfection!

Ingredients:

  • 397g / 1 tin condensed milk
  • 350g digestive biscuits
  • 200g desiccated unsweetened coconut
  • 150g unsalted butter
  • 2tbsp cocoa powder

Method:

In a medium size bowl mix together the coconut and condensed milk. Use a silicone spatula to mix it well. Put it aside to allow the coconut to soak up some of the milk.

Place your biscuits into a strong zip lock plastic bag and use a rolling pin to crush them down until you are left with fine crumbs.

In a medium size saucepan melt the butter and then add the biscuits, cocoa powder and mix until well combined.

Place your buttery biscuit mixture into a square 20cm tin (the ones with a loose bottom would be ideal but not necessary).  Use something heavy and flat to press it down evenly.

Once the bottom layer is nicely flat, spread your coconut mixture over the top. At this time your coconut goodness should be very thick and not very pliable as the coconut will have soaked in a lot of moisture from the milk. Use plastic bag to make a glove or simply use food grade plastic gloves if you own any and press it down using the palm of your hand.

When you are pleased with the final effect pop it into the fridge and refrigerate for at least a couple of hours before digging in.

Cut into your desired size of squares and enjoy!

This super easy, totally fool-proof dessert will be perfect for any coconut lover. Sweet, chewy coconut goodness set over a crunchy chocolate flavoured base… simple perfection!

So easy yet so delicious!

Normally we keep these coconut squares in the fridge at all-times but once they are properly chilled they don’t have to be kept refrigerated; they will still keep theirs shape and form.

Do you like coconut?

This super easy, totally fool-proof dessert will be perfect for any coconut lover. Sweet, chewy coconut goodness set over a crunchy chocolate flavoured base… simple perfection!

To Cook or Not To Cook?

* by Mark

Our food system is pony.

We all know it, we have all known it for quite some time now, yet what do we do about it?

We all eat roughly 3 times a day or 21 meals a week, knocking one meal off for that missed lunch last week because we were just too busy to stop leaves us with a nice round 20. A family of 4 and we are up to 80 meals a week, that’s a lot of food to be found, bought, prepared and finally eaten. Set in the context that in the 21st century it takes two incomes to survive and have any reasonable hope of having nice stuff to play with on those brief moments off. These two facts come together in, currently a most unfortunate way, let me explain why…..

To Cook or Not To CookI will speak in generalisations and I am happy with that as I am very confident we have all fallen foul of the traps that cause the behaviour our food industry takes advantage of.

Let’s agree we are all busy people and when everyone finally arrives home after another stress filled day at work, college, school or other, we are tired and long to crash on the sofa to rest legs or preferred unwinding activity. Then the issue is raised, everyone is hungry and what is for dinner. Arguments, strops and evil glares my abound at this point as no one wants to do the preparing and cooking and for the love of everything wonderful in this world it must surely be someone else’s turn tonight! Everyone remembering a moment when this has happened yet? So what traditionally happens at this point is the fridge and freezer receive a fully expected visit. Stuff is shuffled and poked and expiration dates checked. A million different homes and a million versions of the fridge / freezer visit but all heading for the same result, what will make the quickest yet still tasty meal. This is the point at which you incorrectly decide that the ready meal you’re holding that only requires 3 minutes in the microwave oven is the best answer. After you have eaten it, you may start to realise the error of your ways and if not in time your body will tell you by changing shape.

Our food supply is managed and controlled by a surprisingly small group of companies. Just because the label says it’s from a company called Happy Foods Inc they in turn may be (probably are) wholly owned by larger company who in turn are owned by a large multinational conglomerate who is owned by its shareholders. Now anyone who has even the vaguest idea of what any individual stockholder looks like (i.e. anyone who has invested in the stock market) then they will know that all stockholders value only one thing in their investment, profit! Profit is king, free money for taking a punt on a company what could possibly go wrong. So for our conglomerate to deliver profits to the ever howling crowd of shareholders it must be profitable. This is obvious I know but it’s also the law, all public companies are required by law to maximise their profits over all other considerations. Now, where does our conglomerate get the money to keep this obligation? That’s right: you and me.

The supermarket is king in this day and age, the high street has transformed into a social area with a few conglomerates with house hold names interspersed with a few novelty shops. Now the vast majority of us when we want food we go to the local supermarket. How many supermarkets can you think of as a pop quiz, naming 3 is easy even 5 is straight forward but try 10 and I bet you will really start to struggle. As we established our food is controlled by very few. Now they watch us and they watch us very closely, how closely I hear you ask. How about this, this is in use in certain areas out there at this very moment…. As you enter the supermarket it locks onto your GPS (oh, mobile phones… don’t you just love them) and they record where you walk and how long you stay looking at a product section. This data is merged together and the supermarket can adapt its layout and what stock sections should be expanded and which can be reduced or even abandoned. So next time you’re looking around your local supermarket ask yourself why are there 4 alleyways of ready-made meals but only one of fresh produce.

We are busy, tired, hassled and with very little quality time to spend with loved ones. They are profit driven relentless observers of our behaviours, just remember that next time you go shopping, what you buy influences the world!