Nutritious and Delicious Training Treats

20161214_163335Training Treat Ingredients:

3 1/2 cups old fashioned oats (1/2 cup reserved)

1 cup all natural peanut butter

1/4 cup local honey

1/2 cup flax seed and chia seed combo (see below)

2 bananas

Instructions:

Add oats to food processor and process until you have a flour like powder. Reserve 1/2 cup.    Take the 3 remaining cups of oats and put in a large bowl.  Add remaining ingredients and mix or blend with hand mixer or blender.  (I used my Vitamix from start to finish)  Take your reserved oat flour and dust your counter.  Dump out your batter and sprinkle top with oat flour so you are able to roll your dough.  (I used my hands) You are looking for about 1/4 inch thickness.  Use a pizza cutter or cookie cutter to cut your treats into desired shapes.  I wanted small squares to use as training treats but these would make fantastic gifts or treats to use anytime!

Now let’s talk about why I choose these ingredients:

Oats: Oats have more nutritional value than if I would have use whole wheat flour.  I just amped up the fiber, calcium, manganese, iron, phosphorus, B vitamins, cancer fighting selenium and more! Could you use whole wheat flour instead? Yes, but I strongly encourage you to try making your own oat flour.  You can use this in your human cooking as well!

All natural peanut butter: Do you know what is really in your jar of peanut butter??  LOOK! Dogs have DIED because of the fake sweeteners that poison peanut butter! Read your labels.  If you have a market where you can make your own peanut butter, DO IT! If you don’t look for an organic, all natural peanut butter with nothing but nuts listed!  Peanut butter is a great source of protein for your pup but it also add more vitamins like B and E along with heart healthy fats.

LOCAL Honey: If you can’t get local just eliminate this ingredient all together.  The idea behind this power house ingredient is to aid your pup with allergies and fight infections.  Check out this informative article about bee products.Click here for a very informative article about bee products.

Flax seeds and Chia seeds: I was lucky enough to find this ingredient for a bread I was making and thought, “this would be great for the dog treats”! This little ingredient was the inspiration for this recipe.  I was not expecting to find this already mixed.  If you can not find it this way, you can do one or the other or buy both and mix equally.  You are adding Omega 3,6 and 9 plus calcium, iron, fiber, protein and so much more!  You want to look for organic and “cold milled”.  Click her for more info on choosing the right flax seed.

Bananas: Just what your pup needs to help the body absorb all these great vitamins!! This potassium rich food that also adds more manganese, B6, vitamin C, even things like copper and biotin! While bananas are low in sodium they are higher in sugar so they are perfect in treats because they need to eat in moderation.

Third Eye

My 2 foster brothers, Scooby and Biscuit, are blind.  I have only had them for about 5 days and as I observe their behaviors, I have been thinking and researching.  In an attempt to get them moving and increase their energy, I stumbled upon the Pineal Gland.  This little pea sized gland is responsible for the release of melatonin, our sleep/wake cycle, mood changes, and more.  So it has me wondering about how this gland functions in blind dogs??  If this gland responds to light/lack of light, I have to wonder how well this gland in functioning in these boys?!

I know this is a little scientific (translation: not fun, complicated) but to put it simply, when it is dark our bodies produce melatonin.  Melatonin makes you sleepy.  When exposed to light, the pineal glad produces serotonin.  Serotonin is a happy hormone.

Now I am no scientist but I can only deduce that Scooby and Biscuit are producing too much Melatonin and not enough serotonin.  This is typical during winter months as we loose valuable sunlight but in blind people and animals, this is a struggle 365 days a year.  Fortunately, the boys have not lost all their sight yet.  They respond very well to light. I am already seeing their energy increase as I encourage them to be outside in the natural sunlight.

The gland can also be stimulated with diet.  I have switched their diet and added coconut oil.  I know I have much more to learn and change in their diet plan.  Nutrition in our pets is absolutely fascinating to me.  (I wish I was as fascinated about learning about my own personal nutrition!!)

Whew!! The brain is fascinating but soooo complicated! I have much more to learn so I must keep diving in!  Keep your glands happy!! 😉

brothers