Strawberry Oat Balls

One of my favorite things about early summer is the bounty of fresh strawberries. When I was little, we used to go once a year to a local berry farm to pick our own strawberries. Being out in the fields was such a novelty for us suburbanites, and once we’d picked what seemed like a thousand strawberries, we’d take them home and my mom would make strawberry shortcake and lots of homemade jam.

I haven’t picked berries myself yet this year, but I did pick up a bunch of delicious strawberries at a local farm market recently, so I decided to share some with our doggies. When these treats are baking, they smell very much like strawberry shortcake, and most dogs will love the sweetness of the berries and honey.

Using a teaspoon to portion the dough makes a really nice sized treat for most dogs, and the finished treats are still soft enough to break into smaller pieces if you need to for really small pups.

Strawberry Oat Balls

Makes about 72 treats

 

1 cup whole, fresh strawberries

2 tablespoons honey

1 egg

1/4 cup water

2 cups oat flour

1/2 cup brown rice flour

1/2 cup oat bran

 

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

2. Puree the strawberries in a food processor or blender.

3. Transfer the strawberry puree to a bowl and combine with the honey, egg, and water.

4. In a separate bowl, combine the oat flour, rice flour, and oat bran.

5. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Mix until just combined.

6. Scoop the dough by the teaspoonful, and use your hands to roll each scoop into a ball.

7. Arrange the balls on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and bake until the balls are firm to the touch, about 20 minutes. Allow to cool completely before serving.

 

These treats can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature but will last longer in the refrigerator.

Tuna Fish Biscuits

Tuna is a very lean protein that is chock full of vitamins and minerals. It’s a good source of B3, B6 and B12, folic acid, selenium, and omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are particularly beneficial to your dog, because they support joint mobility, improve the skin and coat, and promote heart and kidney health.

Please note that tuna is only healthy for your dog if it has been cooked. (No doggie sushi!) Never, never feed your dog raw tuna.  Certain types of raw fish, including tuna and salmon, can contain a parasite that causes a potentially fatal disease in dogs known as “salmon poisoning.” For your faithful friend, always stick to thoroughly cooked tuna steaks or canned tuna. When it comes to canned tuna, you should opt for light tuna rather than albacore, because light tuna contains a lower level of mercury. And to keep the fat content to a minimum, be sure to choose tuna packed in water rather than oil.

One additional warning: every dog that has tried these treats has gone completely CRAZY over them! Be prepared for lots of whining and begging for more–even from the most finicky eaters.

Tuna Fish Biscuits

Makes about 80 (1-inch) biscuits

 

1 (5-ounce) can chunk light tuna in water

1 egg

1/2 cup water

1 cup cornmeal, plus more as needed for dusting

1 cup brown rice flour

1/4 cup oat bran

 

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

2. Place the tuna along with all the water and juices into the bowl of a food processor. Process into a puree.

3. Transfer the tuna puree to a bowl, and add the egg and water.

4. Add the cornmeal, rice flour, and oat bran, and stir to combine. Use your hands to knead the mixture into a smooth dough.

5. On a lightly dusted countertop, use a rolling pin to roll the dough out into a sheet about 1/2-inch thick. (This dough is not very flexible, so you won’t be able to roll it out very thinly.) Cut the dough out into pieces using your desired cookie cutter, and arrange the treats on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

6. Bake until the treats feel firm to the touch, about 18 minutes. Turn the oven off and allow the biscuits to dry out inside the oven for about 2 hours.

 

These treats must be stored in the refrigerator.

Blueberry Bones

Dogs can enjoy many of the same berries that we humans love: cranberries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, and blueberries. Blueberries in particular are rich in antioxidants, vitamin C, and fiber. They are also naturally sweet and delicious and turn these dog treats a pretty bluish-purple color.

When it comes to feeding your dog blueberries, keep in mind that a little goes a long way. Too many fiber-packed berries can cause an upset stomach or diarrhea, so feed berries (and these blueberry biscuits) as a special treat, not as a daily supplement.

It’s also important to note that you should never feed your dog fruits or berries that contain pits or stones (like cherries, for example), because many pits/stones are poisonous and they also pose a major choking hazard.

 

Blueberry Bones

Makes about 30 (2 1/2-inch long) bones

 

1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries (if using frozen, thaw them first)

1 tablespoon honey

1 egg

1/4 cup water

1/2 cup oat bran

2 1/2 cups brown rice flour, plus more as needed for dusting

 

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

2. Place the blueberries in a food processor or blender, and process into a puree.

3. In a bowl, combine the blueberry puree with the honey, egg, and water.

4. Add the oat bran, and stir to combine.

5. Add the flour in two additions, stirring well after each addition.

6. Use your hands to press and knead the mixture together to form a smooth ball of dough.

7. Since rice flour doesn’t contain any gluten, this dough is delicate and extra care must be taken when rolling it out. You may or may not need to dust the countertop before rolling it out.

8. Divide the dough in half. (If you try rolling too much dough at once, you’ll have trouble rolling it out.) Use a rolling pin, to very gently roll the first half of the dough out into a sheet about 1/2 inch thick. If you roll the dough too thin, it will not hold together when you make the cut-outs.

9. Use your desired cookie cutter to cut the dough out into shapes. Arrange the biscuits on an ungreased baking sheet.

10. Repeat with the other half of the dough.

11. Bake until the biscuits are firm to the touch, about 20 minutes. Allow to cool completely before serving.

 

These treats may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator.

No-Bake Hidden Treasure Cookies

I got the idea for this recipe from a batch of “human cookies” that have a Hershey’s Kiss hidden in the center. I switched up the ingredients to make these cookies dog friendly, but they are still really tasty for humans too. The cookies are also very quick to prepare and travel really well on long walks or car trips.

If you want to be extra fancy, you can roll the treats in finely chopped peanuts (unsalted), shredded coconut, or carob powder before putting them in the refrigerator to set.

 Hidden Treasure Cookies

No-Bake Hidden Treasure Cookies

Makes about 45 treats

 

2/3 cup natural peanut butter, no salt added

2 tablespoons honey

3/4 cup oat bran

2 tablespoons wheat germ

Unsweetened carob chips, as needed (about 1/3 cup)

 

1. Place the peanut butter, honey, oat bran, and wheat germ in a bowl, and stir until well combined.

2. Take about 1 teaspoon of the mixture, and form it into a ball around 1 carob chip. Repeat until you’ve used all of the mixture.

3. Allow the cookies to set in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before serving.

 

These treats should be stored in the refrigerator. They also freeze well—you can actually serve them right out of the freezer if your dog likes chilly treats.