My dog, Lucca, is pretty selective when it comes to eating fresh produce, but the few vegetables and fruits that he likes, he LOVES. His favorites are peas, carrots, and sweet potatoes, which we steam and mix into his food every once in a while. When we take him to the downtown Farmers Market on Saturdays, he seems almost as excited to check out the veggies as we are (but it could be that he remembers that many of the produce vendors have dog treats on hand).
In the spirit of today’s Farmers Market theme, “Healthy Pets, Healthy People,” we’re giving you a recipe to make for your favorite canine friends. Feeling like you need something simpler? Try cutting organic carrots into sticks and giving them to your dog for a healthy (and teeth cleaning) treat, or thinly slice carrots and sweet potatoes and bake/dry out at 200˚F for an hour or two for a vegetarian take on jerky. Whenever you make pet treats, make sure to use safe fats and don’t add salt (your pets will never know it’s missing)!
Carrot and Sweet Potato Dog Treats
(no vegan option, because dogs are not vegan! Make sure to include animal protein as part of your healthy pet’s diet.)
1 ½ cups mashed steamed carrots and/or sweet potatoes
1 cup oats
½ cup shredded parmesan cheese
- Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper (which is biodegradable!).
- Combine the carrots and/or sweet potatoes, oats, egg, and cheese in a medium bowl; let sit for 5 minutes so the oats may absorb a little of the moisture from the vegetables.
- Spread the mixture on the parchment paper-lined sheet pan in an even, ½-inch thick layer. Bake for 15 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the oven. Using a dinner knife, cut the mixture into ½-inch squares. Place back in the oven for another 15 minutes.
- Remove the cooked treats from the oven and let cool until you can handle them comfortably. Break the treats into ½-inch squares along the cut lines, remove from the pan, and let cool completely on a cooling rack. Store your treats in an airtight container. The treats will keep for two weeks if stored properly (freeze them if you want to save some for a longer period of time).
Rachel Sanders is the Sustainable Campus Initiative Fund Coordinator in the Sustainability Resource Center.