Wow it’s been a long time. Life has been seriously hectic and I might blog about it one day but the short story is I’ve got a new job, a new car and picked a poodle breeder. But, what I actually wanted to talk about tonight was inspired by a discussion with a friend who is thinking about raw feeding. She asked what I do for treats and as I’m actually making some tonight and she got me reflecting I thought I’d do a post on it.
Now, these days I’m much less “puritanical” about my raw feeding. I’ve been doing it for nearly three years and would never go back. If you told me you feed half and half I’d still be baffled as to why but a few commercial treats have snuck back into my arsenal. Partly because a dried kibble is so much easier to keep in the car as that emergency just in case and partly because I got to using treats such as the Nature’s Menu ones. Granted the NM ones are very few and far between because they’re so expensive but even so. Alas, I’m getting slightly side tracked. I used mostly dehydrated lung for a long time because it seems to be MiMi’s favourite thing in the world but it started just not cutting for Laufey and I needed to diversify.
I came across this recipe by Eileen over on Eileen and Dogs and thought they looked ideal. I had the silicone pyramid mould everyone is raving about and thought easy, no cut, none crumble, fantastic. That’s where the excitement ended though. Honestly what is canned chicken and where on earth am I going to buy tapioca flour??? So I improvised. They’ve not all been brilliant, in fact I’ve had some terrible examples of batter mixes but my first one actually turned out pretty good.
I used 1 pack of cooked chicken (240g ish), one egg, I think it was 2 cups of plain white flour and about the same of water. They were a hit. I went on to experiment with other recipes, swapping in beef, missing the egg, adding garlic, varying the flour as it didn’t seem to agree with Laufey. It was chaotic. But, I think I’ve settled, roughly, on a recipe.
Tonight’s mix is 400g of cooked chicken, 1 large egg, 1 cup of rice flour and just under 1 cup of water (adjusted to make a smooth, spreadable batter). As Eileen says in her original article, whilst to begin with you want to get the tray perfect and spread all over, once you’ve done it a few times you sort of slop it on and hope for the best so a lot of my pyramids are missing their tops. We don’t really mind and it’s much faster than trying to work out the air bubbles so decapitated pyramids it is.
So, this time the batter was slightly lumpy but significantly better if you cook the meat before you add it to your batter to blend. Also, blend for a long time with breaks for it to lose a little air. I leave it for around 15/20 mins and my treats seem more crunchy and paler than Eileen’s so don’t know how they’d work in a manners minder type toy but they’re fantastic as training treats. Also, they freeze really well. My treat bag of choice is, currently, still the Dicky Bag in it’s round design with the zip. These treats, along with some tiny cheese cubes, live in my bag in the fridge but the rest of them get put in a ziplock bag and go in the freezer. They don’t stick together and you can just grab them straight out as use as required. Handy for making in bulk when I get chance.
So, what else do I want to try in my treats? Well I got some ostrich that was cooked (I thought it was raw) and I put in the dehydrator but left it too long. I’m hoping to rehydrate that and try my pyramids in ostrich. I’ll likely do beef again now that I have more of an idea of proportions so it’s not as lumpy and I’d like to try pork. Laufey’s pretty easy and will eat anything but I’ve found the key to his attention is to keep changing it up and now we’re part of a trick class and doing trick demos, attention is definitely needed. But more on that at a later date. Right now, I need to go finish storing these treats and take dog food out for tomorrow. If you try the treats, or have any more recipe ideas for me to try let me know!