Rustic Root Vegetable Dog Treats

8 Jun

A few months ago, in the midst of my sourdough bread flurry, I decided to try my hand at homemade dog treats. I’ve never felt great about dog biscuits, and although my dogs love rawhide, I don’t like them to have a ton of it. Also, we have lots of veggie scraps in this house, even with keeping a stock bag in the freezer. And my dogs love fruits and vegetables. Draya would shank you in the back to get a piece of banana; Bronx seems to feel the same about carrots.

I had a kitchen disaster this week, while attempting beet chips, which led to lots of raw beet scraps. And I always keep a jar of chopped carrot peels in the freezer. Then there was that lone banana, staring at me from atop the flour tin, accusing me of not eating it before those spots showed up. Whatever could be done?

Dog biscuits. (Don’t you think Rustic Root Vegetable Dog Treats sounds so much more Martha-y than Vegetable Scrap Dog Biscuits? Me, too.)

There are a billion dog treat recipes on the web (beware: many of these contain a lot of sugar and salt), but I use a super simple base that I can alter according to what veggies I’m using.

My base is just cornmeal, flour, a bit of oil or applesauce, and egg (I’ll provide measurements at the end of the post). Everything else is determined by what I have on hand, usually.


Can you believe how pretty that dough is?? This is the result of a banana, and both beets and carrots.

The hard work is done – now I just roll out the dough, cut it into rectangles (because it’s rustic, right?), and place them on a cookie sheet treated with cooking spray. This dough doesn’t spread or rise, so you can fit a ton of treats on one sheet.

Once they’ve cooled, they can go into whatever container you choose. But don’t forget: dogs deserve garnish, too.

The last step, obviously, is the taste test. You can see that Draya didn’t hesitate to chomp hers. Bronx likes to smell his treats before he accepts them. As you can see, these are dog-wag approved!

Now for the recipe!

Dog Biscuit Base

1/2 cup cornmeal
2 cups flour (can be white or whole wheat)
6 tablespoons oil (can sub applesauce, or omit completely)
2/3 cup water

Dog Biscuit Options

1/2 rolled oats
1-2 eggs (I have found that if I use 2 eggs, I can leave out the oil)
chopped parsley (fresh or dried)
chopped mint (fresh or dried)
carrots
beets
banana
apple
peanut butter

Warning: Onions and garlic are horribly poisonous for dogs, so never ever use them in your biscuits. The ASPCA has a great list of other foods to avoid.

I usually just eyeball these extras, and if the dough is too wet or dry, I adjust the amount of flour. I have also found that making a puree of the vegetables/fruits/herbs is easier to work with.

Roll the dough out to about 1/4 inch, then cut the biscuits and place them on the baking sheet. Bake at 325F for about 60 minutes. The biscuits should be dry to the touch and have little-to-no squish when you push down on the middles. Turn the oven off, and allow the biscuits to cool inside the oven. They should come out completely dry and crunchy, but if your oven is wonky (like mine) you can just stick them back in for another 15-30 minutes.

Once cooled, store them in an airtight container.

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11 Responses to “Rustic Root Vegetable Dog Treats”

  1. Sandy Ward June 8, 2012 at 11:34 am #

    I would eat these in a heart beat! Love beets.

    From a canine point of view, they almost look like chunks of beef, but I’m not too sure dogs can see in red. And yours are healthier!

    When will you start marketing them?!

    Sandy

    • Megan June 8, 2012 at 12:34 pm #

      ha! selling them would be fun, but i don’t think my attention span would allow for making that quantity!

      i haven’t used any meat products so far, because i’m just not sure how it would hold up in terms of storage. could get ooky.

      • Sandy Ward June 15, 2012 at 2:58 pm #

        Right – marketing these lovelies would take up all your time and turn out to be all work and no pleasure. Then you wouldn’t have time to make incredible cards.
        I agree, adding meat could be hazardous. I made some bones years ago and added some bone meal to the recipe. They tasted pretty “vague” and chalky to me and Anne’s dogs at the time (pre-Dobler) ate them, but not with any gusto!

        • Megan June 16, 2012 at 4:20 pm #

          i suppose one could add meat if the treats were kept refrigerated, but i think even then they’d have a pretty short shelf life, right? my guys seem perfectly happy with the vegetarian choice!

  2. Stacy @ Stacyverb June 8, 2012 at 1:33 pm #

    Happy doggies! And you’re right, that dough is beautiful. I’m not a beet fan, but if I were, I’d totally sample these. :)

    • Megan June 8, 2012 at 3:00 pm #

      they really weren’t too beet-y at all! just a little bit sweet.

      • bibliomichelle June 10, 2012 at 8:20 pm #

        Aha, so you DID try them! I was wondering.

        • Megan June 12, 2012 at 10:32 pm #

          yes! i’ve made a couple of different batches now – they are sooo much better than the store-bought ones. (also, welcome back!)

  3. Best Bully Sticks (@bestbullysticks) July 12, 2012 at 1:44 pm #

    Hi Megan!

    We’d love to feature “Rustic Root Vegetable Dog Treats” as a Silver & Chalk guest blog recipe on the Best Bully Sticks blog as a Weekly Drool Recipe day! Email at us at callie.bestbullysticks@gmail.com if you’re interested in being featured on our blog! Thanks! Have a great day!

  4. patricia Higginbotham July 25, 2012 at 8:36 am #

    Thanks for the great recipe…I know my dogs will love them!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Weekly Drool Recipe: Rustic Root Vegetable Dog Treats by Silver & Chalk | Best Bully Sticks Healthy Dog Blog - July 25, 2012

    [...] That being said, this Wednesday’s trip into Best Bully Stick’s recipe book is a gift from the blog Sliver & Chalk. This blog, created and curated by Megan VanSchaick, a freelance writer and a lover of whimsy and art. She posts many craft projects and recipes, including the one she shared with us, Rustic Root Vegetable Dog Treats. [...]

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