Pawsome Peppermint Pup Treats

Since last year we've been trying to up our 'good' food intake and that includes the pup too. Talking to her vet during a routine check up, I mentioned that she had a bedtime 'Dentastix'. While he said they were good for cleaning her teeth, they were very high in calories, which meant, like all of us, she needed to cut back on food and treats elsewhere. I thought there had to be an alternative, one with fewer additives but which also helped with the dreaded morning dog breath. I had a look at a couple of recipes on Pintrest but many had items we don't keep on hand in a vegetarian household (poor pup, no bacon pieces or chicken broth!). So I started devising my own recipe. I tried to select a range of ingredients that not only taste good, but have a range of health benefits for the pup. I've used porridge oats as they're a good source of fibre and a great substitute for any pups who are allergic to wheat; coconut oil is the superhero of foods for dogs - it's antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterial as well as being good for digestion and gives their coats a beautiful shine; honey has many of the same benefits as coconut oil (as well as a host of others such as vitamins and minerals!), but in this recipe I'm adding it more for flavour and as a binding agent (if your dog has diabetes, check with your vet before giving honey products); an egg to bind the mixture but also to boost the protein content; and finally as this is a breath freshener dried peppermint leaves, which can ease an upset puppy tum, help with flatulence and obviously minimise that morning breath. I buy peppermint leaves loose from Neil's Yard and would personally use caution about using the leaves from tea bags as they may contain contaminants, although I have read some recipes which suggest this. So that's it! After a LOT of testing (as you can imagine the pup didn't complain!) here's my recipe. It's so simple, even a toddler can make it! Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 cups of porridge oats
  • 1/2 cup of dried peppermint leaves
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • 1/3 cup of coconut oil (melted. I had one batch where the oil stayed 'clumpy' even after blitzing so melting ensures even distribution)
  • 1 tbs honey
  • 1 egg
Pop the porridge oats in a food processor and blitz until it's a powder. Then add the peppermint leaves and mix again (the toddler loved pouring as you can see!). Add the egg, honey and melted coconut oil, then slowly add the water while watching all the pretty colours blend together. Once all the ingredients are fully blended, they should look a bit like toothpaste. If it's too runny, add more oats, too dry, add more water. Take approximately a tablespoon and either roll it into a ball, or squish it into mini cupcake cases. I've found these silicone ones work really well as they're wide enough to be forgiving of little hands spreading ingredients everywhere but shallow enough that the treats bake well. Bake at 180degrees C/ gas mark 4/350degrees F for about 25-30minutes. I like the treats to be crispy but if you like more of a 'cake' for your pup, you could take them out a few minutes sooner. Take them out and allow to cool fully. Feed to your pup! I tried to get one of those nice pictures of the pup sitting politely, waiting for her treat, but she was so excited, this was the best I could do! Safe to say, these are a hit! As with all treats, use as a compliment to a balanced diet.

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