Some of you might have seen my post about YORA, the insect protein dog food brand I wrote about a few weeks ago. Dogs are omnivores, which means they can technically survive on a vegan diet if it is very well planned and thought through. While I decided to go for an ‘in between’ solution with YORA, I do like to stick to vegan options when it comes to treats and chews. While there are quite a few vegan dog biscuit brands out there, they are not cheap and since I love experimenting in the kitchen I decided to give it a go and make my own, using ingredients that appeal to dogs while being nutritionally beneficial for them too. I was surprised to find out that most dogs love banana and although they should be given in moderation due to their high natural sugar content, they are a good source of various essential vitamins and nutrients. Peanut butter is an excellent source of protein and healthy fats, vitamins B, E and niacin. Always opt for an all natural sugar-/salt- and palm oil free brand. Chia seeds are a true superfood, loaded with Omega 3 fatty acids, calcium, iron and magnesium dogs benefit from them just as much as us humans do. Last but not least there is the gram flour (gram flour is made from ground chickpeas/garbanzo beans), which adds even more protein and fibre. Makes a great rainy afternoon activity for the kids, tasting allowed (beware of the funny looks you get in the park when your children share bone shaped treats with the dog ;-)).
What you need:
1 medium ripe banana (approx. 150g) – mashed
2 tbsp peanut butter (opt for 100% peanuts)
1 tsp coconut oil – room temperature or melted
100-120g gram flour
How you do it:
Mash the banana using a fork, try to make it as smooth as possible.
Add peanut butter and coconut oil, mix and mash everything for another minute until everything is well combined.
Mix in the chia seeds.
Decant the banana – peanut butter paste into a bowl and add spoonful after spoonful of gram flour, stirring constantly.
Towards the end you might need to use your hands as it can get a little sticky.
It might feel like a lot of gram flour to start with, but you’ll find that you probably need most of it in order to get a dough like consistency you can work with.
On a sheet of baking paper roll the dough with a rolling pin (dust with a little more flour if the rolling pin sticks to it), aiming for a thickness of about 5mm.
Cut out your biscuits using a bone/paw or whatever cookie cutter you have to hand (the dog certainly won’t mind the shape of his treats).
Preheat the oven at fan 150C.
Transfer your biscuits to a lined baking tray and repeat the process with any leftover dough until there’s nothing left.
Bake the treats for approx. 20mins or until they are lightly browned and very firm.
In order to keep them nice and crunchy leave to cool completely before transferring them into a container.
IMPORTANT: While these treats are delicious and healthy they do not replace your dog’s normal food and should be given in moderation.