Have you heard that banana bread is having a moment? The quick-bread craze is partially thanks to a super-cute viral video shared by celeb-slash-chef Chrissy Tiegen. There’s also a good chance that because baking helps us unplug, destress, and connect with our loved ones, we’re doing more of it while we’re sheltering in place.
Also? Two words: pandemic snacks.
While your dog would likely love to share a fresh-baked loaf of banana bread with you, it’s not the best idea to give them more than a bite. After all, there’s usually a hefty amount of sugar in banana bread. What’s more, grains can be a source of sensitivity or intolerance for our pups (some have allergies to them), along with the fact carbohydrates may add a few pounds to our pooches.
Don’t hang up your apron just yet, though. There are plenty of wholesome, delicious homemade grain-free dog treats you can whip up for your furry. So preheat the oven and let’s get started!
1. Five-Ingredient P.B. Cookies
This simple, five-ingredient recipe is perfect for beginners. Gather your ingredients before you begin.
Preheat oven to 350°. Mix these ingredients together:
- 1 1/2 cup coconut flour
- 1/2 cup pure peanut butter or nut butter of choice
- 4 organic eggs
- 1/2 cup coconut oil
- 1 cup + 2 tbsp sweet potato puree or pumpkin puree
Working with a small cookie scoop or a tablespoon, portion dough, then roll into small balls. (Alternately, you can roll out the dough between two layers of parchment paper, then use cute bone-shaped cookie cutters.)
Place on a cookie sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool completely before storing (or giving out to your eager dog!).
2. Fido’s Frozen Mint Treats
Blend together in a bowl:
- 1 (6 oz.) container plain yogurt
- 1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped in food processor
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped in food processor
- 1 tablespoon honey, optional
You can use an ordinary ice-cube tray, or for extra appeal, dollop the mixture into silicone dog bone or paw molds. Either way, freeze until they are solid. Remove from trays or molds and store in a freezer container or bag to keep these minty goodies fresh.
3. Pumpkin Peanut Butter Cookies
Does your dog go barkers for pumpkin? A lot of them do, and luckily it’s a pretty good-for-them people food. Plain pumpkin puree can help with both canine constipation and diarrhea, making it a little bit magical in our book! For this grain-free dog treats recipe (or actually any recipe) be sure not to use pumpkin pie filling, which has added sugars and spice that won’t be so nice for your dog’s tummy.
Similarly, ensure that you are using organic or natural peanut butter that contains only peanuts — no extra sweeteners.
Preheat oven to 350°. Blend together in a bowl the following ingredients:
- 1 1/2 cup coconut flour
- 1/2 cup organic peanut butter
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 cup coconut oil melted, then slightly cooled
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
On a board dusted with more coconut flour, or between parchment sheets, roll out dough to about ⅓ inch thick. Cut out desired shapes, or use a pizza cutter to cut into squares. Transfer to a cookie sheet.
Bake for 13-15 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool on cookie sheets.
4. Easy Cheesy Dog Treats
Maybe your buddy has more affinity for savory snacks than sweet ones. That’s OK — there’s always room for some variety in a dog’s diet! Here’s all you need to do to whip up these cheesy crackers grain-free dog treats.
Preheat oven to 400°. Then stir together:
- 1 cup boiled, mashed (unseasoned) potatoes
- 1 egg
- ½ cup grated sharp cheddar
If the mixture is very wet, add some grain-free flour or ground flax until it comes together. Press the mixture into a shallow pan, like a brownie or cake pan. Bake for 20 minutes or until firm. It is OK if these are a little chewy or soft.
Let cool in pan, then remove and cut into squares or bars. Store in the refrigerator.
5. Meaty Dehydrated Dog Snacks
If your partner accidentally bought the wrong cut of beef, you can make these dehydrated, jerky-like grain-free dog treats. Any type of meat, poultry or even seafood will work. This is an especially good opportunity to feed your dog organ meats, which can be rich in essential nutrients.
This is what you’ll need:
- 1 lb. fresh meat, organ meat or fish
- ½ cup organic turmeric powder
- 2 tbsp organic parsley (dried)
- 1 ½ tsp freshly ground pepper
Slice meat or fish into bite-sized pieces. Mix together the spices in a shallow bowl or pan. Dredge each piece of meat through the spices, pressing with your hands to help them adhere. Process according to your food dehydrator’s directions.
Ensure these treats are completely dried out before storing in a sealed jar or freezing for longer-term storage.
6. Chicken and Wild Rice Treats
Wild rice is another boon to the grain-free household. It’s a type of grass, believe it or not, and it has a nutty taste that makes it irresistible to people and dogs alike. For these tasty treats:
Preheat oven to 350°. Blend together:
- 6 oz. raw ground chicken
- 1 cup cooked, cooled wild rice
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp coconut oil (optional)
Form the mixture into small cylinders, like tater tots. Place on a Silpat-lined cookie sheet. Bake for about half an hour — or until your dog can’t stand the smell anymore!
7. Vegetable-Packed Dog Snacks
Here’s another healthy grain-free dog treats recipe that involves pumpkin and peanut butter; this one adds the goodness of spinach and carrot. Just as with people — and Bugs Bunny — canines benefit from carrots’ antioxidant-rich power and a decent dose of Vitamin A.
Spinach is also a safe veggie to feed your pup unless he has kidney issues, in which case you should avoid it (or ask your vet). Otherwise, this is all you need to do:
Preheat oven to 350°. Then place in a large bowl:
- 2/3 cup pumpkin puree
- 1/4 cup pure nut butter
- 2 eggs
- 3 cups almond flour
- 1 cup carrots, peeled and shredded
- 1 cup baby spinach, chopped
With an electric mixer or by hand, blend together the first three ingredients. Add flour, ½ cup at a time, until mixture comes together. Add vegetables and blend until just incorporated. Transfer mixture to a board covered with parchment or a silpat baking sheet. Knead a few times, then use your hands to shape small hearts, cylinders, or balls.
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until brown and fragrant. Let cool.
8. Carrot and Cream Cheese Bites
These are treats in the true sense of the word, so be sure to keep them on the small side and/or dole them out sparingly.
For these delectable dog treats, gather:
- 1 cup grated carrot
- 4 oz. cream cheese, softened
- ½ cup peanuts (or dried parsley, or a blend)
Using a food processor or blender, blend the peanuts and/or parsley into a fine powder and pour into a shallow dish or pie plate. Mix together the cream cheese and carrot. Chill this mixture for about an hour to make it easier to handle.
Roll the carrot and cream-cheese mixture into tiny balls, then roll each ball in the nut or parsley powder to coat. Flash freeze on a cookie sheet, then store treats in the freezer in a zip-top bag.
9. Sweet Potato Fries to Share!
Last but not least, how about a side of sweet potato fries for tonight’s dinner? You can share them with your pup right away, then freeze any leftovers for future treating!
For sweet tater fries that are dog-friendly, make your own like so:
Preheat oven to 425°.
- Two large, or three medium, raw sweet potatoes
- ¼ – ⅓ cup coconut oil, melted
- Pinch sea salt
- Pinch ground black pepper
- Pinch cinnamon (optional)
Peel and julienne sweet potatoes into ¼-inch wide fries. Place in a large bowl, then pour over the melted oil. Sprinkle with seasonings, if using. Toss until all sides of each fry are coated with the oil.
Spread fries on a baking sheet in a single layer for 15-25 minutes. Bake, checking them often and turning them on the cookie sheet a few times for even browning.
It may be hard to wait, but let them cool before serving to your canine dining companion.
From our kitchen to yours, we hope you have fun creating and feeding these grain-free dog treats. Bon appetit!