Easter Treats and an Everyday Cookie

Life can get pretty dull if we take everything oh so seriously; that includes the topic at hand, which I take very seriously, as it is my life’s work. That said, I appreciate a little whimsy from time to time, and so do my dogs. Well, they appreciate most everything, but isn’t that part of the intrinsic beauty of them? Cookies? Great! Dehydrated liver? GREAT! Pat on the head and a hug? WONDERFUL!

This is part of why we love them, no?

So, in response to many requests and because I love a little play time too, here are two treat recipes. I know you can find variations of them all in cookbooks and online, and honestly I do not have the time anymore to investigate all these new books and sites. These are recipes I’ve used for 13 years now. One is adapted from Wendy Volhard’s Holistic Guide for a Healthy Dog, a book many of us started with way back when; the other I found somewhere on a list that had about 8000 recipes, and most I didn’t like because they contained wheat,corn meal, vegetable oil or worse…but this one I adapted and use as my main cookie recipe for daily use.  I thought I’d just share them with you – and hey, hiding the  egg-shaped carob treats around the house on Easter morning is optional.

I don’t do that. No really, I don’t.

Leave it to Jasmine to give me away.

On most days, I bake these in a brownie pan and cut little squares. although truthfully I rarely make them anymore. Except on Easter, when I do – ahem – use a melon baller to make egglike treats and have, occasionally, organized a brownie hunt for dogs.

I used Volhard’s recipe as a starting point, but omitted the oil, wheat flour and,of course, the raisins.It should be a stickier batter for making “Easter eggs” – and it’s easier to do just the bars. If you have kids participating though – rolling the batter into eggs and baking (on parchment, please) is half the fun. This is as close to a “sweet treat” as I ever make.

Gluten-free Carob Bars

3 cups brown rice flour
2 cups quinoa and/or amaranth flours (available at most healthfood stores)
1/2 cup ground almonds
1/4 cup finely ground flax, pumpkin or sunflower seeds
2 Tbsp carob powder
4 Tbsp blackstrap molasses
4 large eggs
1/4 cup plain yoghurt
2 Tbsps honey

Mix together all the wet ingredients and beat well. I usually start by
beating the eggs, adding yogurt molasses and honey. Beat well. Lastly,
stir in the hot water, a bit at a time.
In a separate bowl, combine flours, ground nuts and seeds; add
carob. When well mixed, make a well in the center and pour in the liquid
mixture. Add a little extra flour if making the eggs.  Stir to combine and spread into a well greased baking pan. Bake at
350 for 45 minutes.

Cut into larger bars for meal replacements, smaller for treats. Freeze
anything you don’t use within a few days; they will keep in the fridge up to
a week.

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Gluten-free Salmon Treats – good for everyday use

The original recipe I used had flax, ground eggshell, and herbs baked in – you can always add some herbs and a dash of garlic, but I get rave reviews from these just using three ingredients. Make them plain or fancy – but do make them. They’re always a hit, and they’re very healthy.

1 8oz. can salmon with juice (can use low sodium for your seniors)
1/2 cup finely chopped parsley
3 whole eggs, beaten well
1/3 cup ground sesame seeds, use coffee grinder to make a fine meal (optional but nice)
2 1/2 cups rice flour (can use tapioca, amaranth, quinoa or chestnut flours , but rice is cheapest and most readily available)

Mix everything together by hand or in a food processor.I beat the eggs, add the salmon and parsley, then stir in the ground seeds(if using)  and flour.  When the
dough is a good consistency for rolling, roll it out to about 1/4
inch thick, or slightly thicker if preferred. Use cookie cutters if
desired to cut various shapes – bake at 375 for 20 minutes; turn the
pan once and do 5 – 10 minutes longer.

Longer baking produces a
harder cookie If you want them very crunchy, leave in the oven a few hours after turning the heat off.

TIP: Use parchment lined baking pans to avoid using extra fat
on the bottom of the biscuit.

Happy Easter, to all who celebrate, and if you don’t – have some baking fun anyway.

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