Saturday, January 14, 2012

Canine Cookie Rose

Cookie Rose has expanded to include all things organic and good for dogs (and people too). My beloved dog, Rosco, has a condition for which my Vet has recommended a no grain/corn organic diet. Needless to say, that pretty much takes care of all processed foods. So I took to the kitchen and experimented.

For his dog food I use organic ground beef, chicken or turkey. Put a pound into a casserole dish and then mix in a can of organic pumpkin or sweet potato puree (organic pumpkin or sweet potato puree usually has nothing else in it and so is minimally processed). To this add about one cup of cooked organic rice (any variety you like) and again mix in well. The final addition is about a half to a full cup of whatever you have on hand or think that your dog would eat. I use organic green peas, sliced organic baby carrots, or organic cranberries (you can find these in food coops around the holidays and then freeze the individual packages for use all year). Then bake in a moderate oven (350 degrees) for no more than an hour. Peek at it after about 40 minutes and if all is bubbly, stir it up and see if it seems done. I have been giving Rosco about a cup twice a day (he's a large beagle/basset and who knows what else mix) and he loves it. His coat is shiny, his eyes bright, and his 9 year old body agile!

Once the Vet prescribed this way of eating for Rosco, it posed a problem for any kind of treat beyond organic marrow bones. Although there are many organic treats out there, I had trouble finding any that were grain free and affordable. So I took down from the shelf a cookbook that my good friend Nina gave me several Christmases ago that is a recipe book to cook organic dog biscuits. I found one that was grain free and modified it a bit.

It's nothing more than mixing together 2 cups of organic ground chicken, 2 cups of organic brown rice flour, 1 1/2 cups of pureed organic sweet potatoes or carrots, 2 organic eggs, and some organic cranberries. The original recipe calls for dried cranberries but I use the same organic cranberries as referenced above and they work fine. If you have no cranberries, I guess you could try organic blueberries. You mix all of this together to form a "dough", and I use the word loosely, for the mixture is very moist. It is moist to the point that I cannot see a way to roll it, so what I have been doing is putting a small amount on a floured surface, patting it down until smooth and even, then cutting out dog bones with various sized cookie cutters. Place them on a cookie tin lined with parchment paper and bake in a 375 degree oven 22 to 27 minutes, or until slightly brown and firm. After they are cooled, place them in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator, since they have no preservatives and I am told would mold if left at room temperature. They are not crisp as traditional dog biscuits, but are very good.

I have tried them! One recipe makes many small biscuits, and I usually make some small and some large. One recipe lasts Rosco about a month, with having one or two small ones a day.

So there you have it. This all may be a bit pricier than store bought food, but perhaps we will save in the long run from fewer trips to the Vet.