Kale and Flax Doggie Treats

14 Nov

Before baking!

I always seem to have leftover kale in my fridge. If you took an unannounced picture of my refrigerator’s content once a week, kale would be a consistent member. I’d like to say, we eat it as quickly as I buy it, but I would be lying to you. We don’t. I try my damnedest to incorporate it into as much as possible. But after days of chicken (and kale) enchiladas or yet another soup featuring the perky green,  I start to get bored. There is someone in our household who happens to adore kale though. He will even eat it totally raw and practically beg me for it. Crazy I know. Honestly, if it wasn’t for our dog Pete, I would forever feel guilt about the wilting kale sitting in the corner of the fridge. Thanks to him, we don’t have to worry about that.


Pete beggin’ for a Kale Treat

So to return the favor, I decided to make him some homemade doggie treats. This is something I really enjoy doing for the little guy. To tell you the truth, I don’t think the ingredients in those store-bought dog treats are all that fresh or wholesome…but I could be wrong. It’s just a wild guess. With that being said, I like the fact that I can create snacks for him, with a minimum of ingredients and freshness guaranteed. I wonder if I will be this crazy with my human babies? Only time will tell. I digress.

So there I am staring at a bunch of languishing kale in my fridge and I ask myself out loud “What am I gonna do with this kale?” I notice Pete’s ears perk up at the question. So I said to him “Kale?” and he sits up. Now I usually talk to Pete while I’m cooking. It’s really so I can get away with talking to myself while I cook (which I do often) and my neighbors won’t think I’m crazy. Besides, Pete is usually at the edge of the kitchen, waiting for me to toss him a kale leaf or for a rogue piece of carrot to fall. This little guy loves veggies, which is good because Mike and I could survive on pasta and potatoes if we really needed to – not that we would, that wouldn’t be healthy at all.

Now we all feel good, because there are no greens in the trash, Pete has a treat he loves, and Mike and I don’t have to eat scrambled eggs with kale in the morning. I decided to incorporate one of my pup’s favorite veggies into a crunchy treat that I can feel really good about feeding him. All the ingredients are very good for dogs and most likely better for them than a Beggin’Strip. Just sayin’.


Kale and Flax Doggie Treats

makes about 100 treats (I made mine bite-sized but if you cut larger treats this recipe would yield less)

1/4 cup hot water

1 package dry yeast

1 1/2 cups kale juice (I make my own by blending 1 bunch of kale in a blender with 4 cups water)

1 cup all-purpose flour

2 cups wheat germ

1 cup oat flour (I make my own by processing rolled oats in a food processor until powdery)

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

Preheat your oven to 300 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In the bowl of a standing mixer, combine the water and yeast. Let stand for 5 minutes.

Add the kale juice, all-purpose flour, wheat germ, oat flour and whole wheat flour. Mix well until combined (dough will be very stiff). Dump the dough out onto a sheet of waxed paper or parchment paper. Place another sheet on top of the dough and roll out to 1/2 inch thickness. Cut the dough using a pizza wheel or sharp knife into desired shape. Prick holes into the tops of the treats with the tines of a fork. (You can skip this step, if so your treats will not be flat, they will puff up like little pillows!).

Bake at 300 degrees for 30 minutes, rotating the sheets halfway through cooking. Turn the oven off and leave the sheets inside to dry-out the treats, about an hour. Once dried-out, pack in an air-tight container for up to 2 weeks.

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