As someone in the blogosphere mentioned, November contains the American holiday, Thanksgiving, where for one day we gather with friends and family and are grateful for what life has given us. But, is one day really enough? More importantly, isn’t it better to be grateful for what and who you have in your life every day and show it in tangible ways? I’m thankful for my goofy hubby who’s one of the kindest people I know, who thinks of his family and how he can help them, about his patients and colleagues and what they need and how he can help them achieve that, and me, his inscrutable wife, whose needs he anticipates before I’m even aware I need anything. I’m also grateful for my family (genetic and those from another mother, you know who you are), a safe and warm home, the basic and non-basic necessities of living, and my very sweet-natured, affectionate pooch. He’s such a joyful dog that whenever people see him, even if they’re so incensed they’re muttering under their breath they’ll look up and smile before continuing on. He’s made many a person’s day just by being thrilled that they’re taking the time to pet him and he’s very expressive of his thanks with doggy smiles and sweeping tail wags. And if you’re having a bad day, he’ll gently come up to you and just be there.
So just as the hubster gets baked goods to positively reinforce his biking and mitigate some of the badness of life that seeps through into everyone’s world, the pooch gets no-bake treats. Since these are for dogs (although they’re definitely safe for non-dewclawed consumption if a bit bland), there’s no salt and little sugar in them cuz dogs mainly taste based on smell which is why they like stinky treats like bacon, salmon, and peanut butter. That and cavities aren’t good for anyone, especially since I’ve yet to hear of doggie dentures. I’ve used rolled oats instead of flour because quite a few dogs are allergic to wheat although fortunately not my fuzzball. Rolled oats have been “rolled” or flattened then steamed and toasted and in the process no longer have their outer bran covering but are still a good source of fiber (1/2 cup contains 2 g of fiber) so are good for keeping your Fido regular. The peanut butter provides protein and fat, the applesauce contributes moisture so your bites will stick together along with more fiber and the honey adds a little sweetness and has been anecdotally noted to boost the immune system and the effects of antioxidants.
Good things to know:
1) Although some of us may refer to our pets as “furry family,” they are still not people and should not eat many people foods. Why? Cuz a lot of the stuff that we love and that makes food taste better are toxic and harmful to dogs. Grapes or raisins can cause kidney failure, onions and garlic can cause hemolytic anemia (where your red blood cell count drops because they literally burst), and the list goes on. So love your pets and give them treats but look it up first to make sure it’s safe (lots of pet food manufacturers put stuff in pet food, like garlic powder, that’s not necessarily safe for their clients). [wobbles off soap box.]
2) Argh, my dough is too dry and won’t stick together! No worries, just add another tsp of applesauce or 1 tsp of water. Ack, it’s too wet and mushy and sticks to everything. If it’s not too soupy you can just pop it in the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes to chill and set. If it’s really mushy just add 2 tbsp of oats 🙂
3) If, you want to
steal food from hungry deserving doggies make these bites more people palatable, increase the honey to 3 tbsp and add 3 tbsp packed light brown sugar and 1/2 tsp salt. 😉
1/2 c creamy peanut butter, preferably unsalted
1 1/2 c rolled oats
1 tbsp honey
2-3 tbsp applesauce (to change things up you can also switch out the applesauce for puréed pumpkin which is also good for doggy digestion)
Microwave peanut butter for 20-30 seconds to soften. In a medium-sized mixing bowl mix together peanut butter, honey, and applesauce. Stir in oats, this will create a sticky, clumpy paste that looks (but doesn’t feel) like dry granola.
Scoop up ~1 1/2 tbsp dough and roll into a 1-inch diameter ball. Store in an airtight container at room temperature (or you can refrigerate them too, but it’s not necessary) for 2-3 weeks. Makes ~12. Ecstatic pooch gratis 😀 Sorry for all the blurry pics but he always moves at the last second and it was sooo hard to keep him from gobbling the treat before I took the photo. The price for this photo shoot was 2 treats!