Christmas Tree Treats

Each year I bake dozens of Christmas cookies to deliver to my neighbors, and this year I expanded my list of recipients to include my neighbors’ dogs. I made these cute little Christmas tree dog treats, wrapped them in decorative cellophane treat bags (from a craft store), and tied each package with a ribbon. The recipe is simple and inexpensive but results in a beautiful holiday gift that is sure to be greatly appreciated. The treats are also completely natural, so you can give them in good conscience! They are wheat free, and the fresh spinach puree gives the treats a festive, dark green color and a bundle of healthy nutrients.

At first glance spinach may not seem like a flavor that is particularly dog-friendly; however, literally every dog that has ever tried my spinach flavored treats has happily gobbled them up and begged for more. Who knew? Even dogs that do not typically like to eat veggies seem to really enjoy the spinach flavor.

So, until our next blog post in the new year, See Spot Bake wishes you Yappy Howlidays, Feliz Navidog, and all of the other ridiculous dog-related yuletide sentiments! But seriously, MERRY CHRISTMAS and a YAPPY NEW YEAR to you and your pack!

ChristmasTrees

Christmas Tree Treats

Makes about 40 (1 1/2 inch) dog treats


8 oz organic spinach leaves

2 eggs

1/2 cup water

2 1/2 cups white rice flour, plus more for dusting


1. Preheat the oven to 350F.

2. Combine the spinach, eggs, and water in a blender. Blend to form a smooth puree.

3. Place the white rice flour in a mixing bowl. Slowly pour the spinach puree into the flour, stirring to combine well. Continue stirring until the mixture forms a smooth, homogenous dough.

4. On a floured countertop, roll the dough out into a sheet about 1/4-inch thick. Using a Christmas tree cookie cutter (or any other cookie cutter of your choosing), cut the treats out. Arrange the treats on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. The treats can be placed close together, because they will not spread during baking.

5. Bake on the middle rack for 8 minutes. Flip each of the treats over, and return to the oven to continue baking for an additional 8 minutes. Allow the treats to cool completely before serving.


These treats are best stored in an airtight container inside the refrigerator.

Everyone’s an Irish Setter on St. Patrick’s Day!

Just because our dogs aren’t allowed to partake of the green beer, that doesn’t mean that they should miss out on all the St. Patty’s Day fun. These green, spinach-flavored biscuits are really festive, especially when cut out with a shamrock-shaped cookie cutter, and they are also rich in antioxidants, iron, and fiber.

Some people (erroneously) think that spinach is toxic to dogs, because it contains a substance called oxalic acid. It is true that in extremely large amounts oxalic acid can cause health problems; however, according to veterinarian Marie Haynes, “the amount that a dog would have to eat in order to cause toxicity is so high that it probably couldn’t be done.” So, spinach is A-okay for dogs to eat in moderation, and it makes a beautiful, natural green food coloring for dog biscuits.

I hope you and your dog have a happy and healthy St. Patrick’s Day! In celebration of all things Irish, I’ll leave you with a few canine-centric Irish proverbs:

-A little dog can start a hare, but it takes a big dog to catch one.

-A live dog is better than a dead lion.

-The dog that’s always on the go is better than the one that is always curled up.

-The cat is always dignified . . . until the dog comes by.

Shamrock Biscuits

Makes about 26 (2 1/2-inch by 2 1/2-inch) shamrocks

 

2 cups organic spinach leaves, tightly packed

1 egg

1/2 cup water

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more as needed for dusting

 

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

2. Place the spinach leaves in a food processor or blender, and process to a puree.

3. Transfer the spinach puree to a bowl, add the egg and water, and stir to combine.

4. Add the flour, and stir to combine. Use your hands to squeeze and knead the mixture into a smooth dough.

5. Lightly dust the countertop with flour, and roll the dough out into a sheet about 1/4-inch thick.

6. Use a shamrock-shaped cookie cutter to cut the dough into pieces. Arrange the biscuits on an ungreased baking sheet.

7. Bake until the biscuits are firm to the touch, about 20 minutes.

 

Note: I used all-purpose flour in this recipe to keep the green color as vibrant as possible, but you can substitute whole wheat flour if you’d like.

 

These treats are best stored in the refrigerator.