Monday, 12 March 2018

{RECIPE} Guilt-Free Healthy Carob Gummy Easter Dog Treats


Guilt-free "chocolate" Easter dog treats? Oh yeah! We're in! These easy DIY dog treats only take a few minutes to prepare (plus set-time) and the ingredients are simple, healthy, and doggone delicious!


Gummies are some of the simplest treats we make (one of our go-to favourites), but they're also some of the healthiest. I started making bone broth and adding ready-made gelatin powder/treats to our dogs' diet sor our senior to support his ageing joints and mobility, but gelatin can also be beneficial for metabolism, digestion, liver function, bones, skin, coat, etc. In the spirit of our Year of the Dog pledge to always have gummies on hand in the fridge as "treats" we're playing with lots of flavour combos and mixtures, so you'll be seeing plenty of pawesome gummy ideas here on the blog.

Carob is often used as a dog-friendly version of chocolate. Arguably, ready-made carob drops/chips (which can also be great for dog-friendly special treats - like these indulgent Easter dogolates) are rather similar, but for actual carob and cocoa powders the taste and nutrition profiles are quote different. In terms of dog-friendly cooking, carob is hands-down the way to go!  Chocolate contains a compound called theobromine which is toxic to dogs, and can also contain other doggy no-nos like caffeine, sugars, sweeteners, etc. Holidays, such as Christmas, Easter, and Halloween when there are lots of human goodies can be very dangerous times for dogs, so always keep human goodies out of reach! Carob is naturally sweet and flavoursome  - it smells a lot like chocolate, but I find it tastes a little different with a slightly nutty spicy zing. Pure carob powder is high in fibre and anti-oxidants, low-fat, low-calorie, and free from gluten, lactose, and caffeine. Pawesome!


Guilt-Free Healthy Carob Gummy Easter Dog Treats

1 cup cold water or low sodium stock (pale works best for tinting), divided
3 tbsp plain gelatin powder
1-2 tbsp carob powder

Measure cold water/stock. Reserve 1-2 tbsp to be used to pre-mix the carob powder for easier addition to the gelatin mixture once prepared, and pour the rest into a pan. Tip: I've recently started using a pan instead of a pot when prepping gummies. More surface area makes for easier blooming. Sprinkle the cold water/stock with gelatin powder and let sit for five minutes to fully bloom/gel, then apply heat. Gently stir the mixture over low heat until the gelatin is completely dissolved. Remove from heat. Combine the reserved stock/water and carob powder and mix thoroughly. Pour into the prepared gelatin mixture and stir to combine. Pour the finished gelatin mixture into your molds and chill to set fully before removing from molds. 


Tips and Tricks:
  • Carob and gelatin are enticing enough flavours that dogs will enjoy these treats made with water (like the treats shown), but you can also use stock if you'd like. We might wrinkle our noses at chocolatey soup but dogs will find the combo downright drool worthy. My go-to stock is simple unseasoned broth saved from preparing homemade food. You can also buy stock, but where we live it's hard to source ready-made unsalted or truly low-sodium stock. 
  • These are firm gummies, since I like to supplement my dogs with gelatin, especially my senior.  If you prefer, you can use less gelatin for a jigglier jelly treat. Individual gelatin powders may be a little stronger/weaker. Find a ratio that works for your preferences and, of course, your dog.
  • Yield will depend on your treat size and thickness. Volumes are easily scaled.  If you want a precise measure of a specific pan/mold capacity, you can do a test pour from a measuring cup of water to measure the volume required to fill.
  • If you're using shaped pans, keep them simple for easy breakage-free removal. 
  • Once set, they are now ready to eat, but for an even better "real" gummy texture/feel, after you have taken the treats out of the mold, return them to the refrigerator on a plate/tray uncovered to dry for a day before normal container storage.
  • These treats should be kept refrigerated and can be frozen for longer storage. If gummies are  frozen, I find that defrosting in the fridge uncovered on a plate or dishtowel helps to make sure that they thaw dry instead of getting a little slippery. In our hot summer weather, my boys also like their treats straight from the freezer.

Hungry for more tasty treats?  See all of our recipes hereRemember, treats are for spoiling your pup in moderation. Some dogs have special dietary requirements and/or food allergies/intolerances. If you are ever in doubt, have a chat with your vet.

2 comments:

  1. I love this! Do you have tips for making these into children's Easter gummies instead of dog treats?

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    Replies
    1. Sure! You can adapt any of our gummy ideas into people friendly treats by playing with the flavours. The base ratio of 3 tbsp of quality gelatin per cup of liquid can be used to make pretty much any flavour combo you can imagine! If you're making fruity gummies, beware that some fruits, juices, and acidic ingredients can affect the setting of gelatin so pick carefully and/or up the gelatin to compensate.

      If you're making these into chocolate gummies for kids, you can use cocoa powder instead of carob (if you wish) and I'd suggest swapping the stock for water or going more creamy and nutritious with coconut milk, normal milk, or a milk/yogurt combo. You'll probably also want to add some sweetness with either sugar or by swapping a little of the liquid for maple syrup, honey, or other natural sweetener of your preference.

      Hope that helps! :)

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