Friday, 2 February 2018

{RECIPE} Blackberry Cheesecake Dog Treats

Old boy Oli is an absolute fiend for blackberries. Our berry patch is in a gated area, but when the gates are open whilst I'm working in the garden, Oli is sure to arrive like a berry seeking bear bumbling his way into the bird netting hoping for a tasty nibble. Since antioxidants are a big part of our efforts to give Oli happy healthy golden years, his berry love is something we happily indulge in moderation. Blackberries are a powerhouse of free radical fighting antioxidants along with vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Blackberries are also a vibrant dark purple-red inside their inky drupelets, and the messy stains on my berry picking fingers inspired me to use that natural colouring to create these Valentine treats.  Beetroot is usually my pink go-to, but Oli was very pleased to see blackberries on the menu. And with the irresistible tang of cream cheese? Drool! 

Blackberry Cheesecake Dog Treats

Tip: My big fat juicy fresh-picked blackberries made a very liquid puree, but berries are a highly variable ingredient. Depending on your specific berries as well as the consistency of your cream cheese and the optional add-ins, you might need to use less/more flour or add a little water to get a nice dough consistency, so working incrementally when adding your flour is important.  

1/2 cup finely pureed blackberries (see tip above)
1/4 cup cream cheese well-softened
1 egg
1 tbsp ground flax (optional)
1-2 tbsp gelatin (optional)
A sprinkle of  Ceylon cinnamon (optional)
Approximately 1+1/4 to 1+1/2 cups rice flour (see tip above) plus extra for rolling

Preheat oven to 180C. Combine all ingredient except flour in a bowl, then incrementally add flour until the dough has a nice firm pliable consistency. Flour quantity may vary with your specific ingredients and optional add-ins, so work incrementally. If it isn't firm enough, add a touch more flour. If your mixture is looking a bit dry, you can add a little bit of water or olive oil to adjust.  Rest dough (optional). On a lightly floured surface, roll and then cut into desired shapes or simply roll into bite-sized balls and flatten gently with a fork. Bake for approximately 10-12 minutes depending on size. Cool before serving and storage.

Tips and Tricks: 
  • No blackberries? No problem! Swap another dog-friendly fruit or veggie and adjust the flour quantity if needed for consistency.
  • I love giving my dogs gelatin in gummies or as a sprinkled supplement on food, but have discovered that it's also a handy add-in to improve the consistency of low-fat gluten free doggy doughs which can be soft and tricky to work with in roll-and-cut treats. Gelatin is an awesome binding add-in which helps enhance dough consistency for cutting and handling, and it's healthy too! I don't bloom it first like I would if making gummies, I just mix it right in with the other ingredients. Easy peasy!
  • In addition to being doggone delicious and fragrant, cinnamon offers some great health benefits to dogs (and people); however, it's not suitable for everyone. Pregnant/nursing dogs in particular should not be given cinnamon. Ceylon cinnamon is the recommended variety for dogs, if/when used. 
  • The treats can be broken for smaller dogs, or made bigger/smaller - just keep an eye on your cooking time - the smaller and/or thinner the cookie, the shorter the baking time.   
  • For a crunchier treat, you can let baked treats sit a while in the cooling oven before removing to get a little crispier or pop the baked treats into a dehydrator
  • These treats can be frozen for longer storage. 

Hungry for more tasty treats?  See all of our recipes here. Remember, treats (bought or homemade) are for spoiling your pup in moderation. We share ideas here from treats that we make ourselves for our pets, but different animals will have different preferences (likes/dislikes) and dietary needs. Some pets may have special dietary requirements and/or food allergies/intolerances. If you are ever in doubt or have questions about what's suitable for your pet, have a chat with your trusted vet.

1 comment:

  1. Howdy furfriends! Just a little comment to note that we remade this recipe as a Strawberry variation and needed (as expected) significantly less flour than with our juicy fat fresh blackberries. A good reminder of how important incremental mixing is when using variable ingreadients like veggies, fruits, etc. {RECIPE} Naturally Pink Strawberry Cheesecake Dog Treats


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