Wholesome Dog Treat Recipe

Maestros-Fun-Bits.jpg

Granola, dried berries and yogurt form the core of Maestro's Fun Bits. This wholesome snack will have dogs on the go craving for more. Maestro's Fun Bits can be prepared in a food dehydrator or a conventional oven. This healthy treat for dogs and people is perfect for day trips and hikes.

Ingredients for Maestro's Fun Bits

2 cups of organic granola-type cereal (naturally sweetened or unsweetened)

1/2 cup of dried cranberries

1/2 cup of plain yogurt

2 tsp. Vanilla extract

2 tbsp. Maple syrup

Tools and Equipment

  • Medium mixing bowl
  • Measuring cup
  • Measuring spoons
  • Rubber spatula
  • Food dehydrator
  • Airtight food storage container

Preparing Maestro's Fun Bits

  1. Thoroughly mix together all ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Once all moist ingredients are evenly mixed in with the dry ingredients, spoon out dollops onto food dehydrator trays.
  3. Dry at 145 degrees F until crunchy, checking at regular intervals. A rough approximate drying time is 5 hours in high altitude. However, individual drying times will vary depending upon altitude and the food dehydrator.
  4. Remove Maestro's Fun Bits from the food dehydrator, place in an airtight container and store in a cool, dark place, such as the pantry. When stored properly, homemade pet treats will keep for up to 30 days.

Alternatively, a conventional oven can be used to make this wholesome canine treat. According to Living Strong, it is recommended to "Set your oven's temperature control between 140 and 200 degrees F" to dehydrate food in a conventional oven.

Maestro loves these homemade dog treats. Humans do too. Photo by R-M Arca.

Tips and Variations

Over-drying food is to be avoided. According to food dehydrator manufacturer Nesco, “Over-dried foods lose quality in texture, nutrition, and taste." To check for dryness, remove a piece of food and let it cool. Then test the degree of dryness with your fingers.

Dog owners can try any of these variations to Maestro's Fun Bits:

  • Use puffed wheat or puffed rice instead of granola.
  • Use another type of berry, such as raspberries, blueberries or strawberries.
  • Add another type of fruit, such as chopped apples.
  • Try apple or orange juice instead of maple syrup as a sweetener.

Finally, there are several things that dog owners should keep in mind when making dog food and homemade dog treats:

  1. Make gradual dietary changes to avoid indigestion, stomach upset and diarrhea.
  2. Owners should observe their dog carefully in case of an allergic reaction.
  3. Variety ensures that a dog's nutritional needs are balanced.

Originally published on Suite101.com on September 17, 2011. All rights are reserved by Rhona-Mae Arca.