Grain Free BUCKBites

I haven’t been this excited about a treat recipe in a dog’s age. Thank goodness Xmas is around the corner – methinks I need to get out more. This recipe is timely as I’m super excited that Modern Dog Magazine has included one of my recipes in their Winter 2012 issue – Check it out. They chose the Grain Free GoodBites, so I thought this would be a great time for another GF treat!

I recently learned about Buckwheat Flour from a Red Seal chef who works at Buddy’s Kitchen, near Toronto – makers of fresh food and treats for dogs. If you’re thinking that buckwheat is a cereal grain, you would be wrong! It’s actually a fruit seed that is related to rhubarb and makes a good substitute for grains for people or pets who are sensitive to wheat or gluten. It has a strong nutty taste so it’s not generally used on its own in a recipe, as the taste of the finished product can be very overpowering, and a little bitter. I also used potato flour (not be confused with potato starch flour.) Also grain and gluten free. You can probably buy these flours in the grocery store specialty/organic section, but I just load up on these flours as well as rye and coconut flour at the Bulk Barn. Man I love that store. (hint, hint, sponsor me PLEEEEZE!) I also buy blackstrap molasses there. Because the potato and buckwheat flour has no gluten, you need a good binder, and the molasses is perfect. It also disguises some of the bitter buckwheat taste by adding some sweetness, the dogs love it, and unlike refined sugar, blackstrap molasses retains such vitamins and minerals as calcium, magnesium, potassium and iron. It’s actually got a lot going for it – another thing I learned when developing this recipe!
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Grain-Free GoodBites

Greetings, fellow passengers!

I know a lot of you are looking for recipes for dogs with allergies, so I’ve come up with this grain-free duck and potato treat. I did my best to stay away from other food items that some dogs are allergic to, such as eggs. Instead, I used some “no sugar added” applesauce in place of the egg as the binder in the recipe. It’s a sticky and wet dough without flour – but the results are worth it, especially if your little one can’t handle grains.

1 duck breast
1/4 cup no sugar added applesauce
3/4 cup instant potatoes. Look for the ones with as few additives as possible. Try to use the granulated ones (they look kinda like sugar) as opposed to the flaky ones. I had the Paradise Valley brand from Costco. I believe that the Idahoan Originals are granular too.
Tsp Rosemary
Tsp Parsley (fresh/dry)
1/4 cup to a cup of chicken broth or water.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. If you have a food processor, (I lived a full & happy life without one, but I bought one 6 months ago and man, I wish I had gotten one a long time ago!) roughly chop the duck breast before putting it in. If you’re going manual all the way, chop the duck breast into little bitty bites.

Either in the food processor or in a big mixing bowl, add the chopped duck, the potato, the applesauce, rosemary and parsley. Pulse or mix together. As you go along, slowly add as much water (my preference, to keep them lower in fat/sodium) or broth if that’s what you think your dog would prefer – as you need to get them to a spreadable consistency. You shouldn’t need very much at all. This is a wet dough – it’s without flour after all – so don’t worry if it looks like a big brown blob. It’s supposed to!

Spread onto a parchment lined baking tray. I get right in there with my hands rather than using a spatula. Use a knife to cut squares in the raw dough. I cut big squares for The Boys, you should make them the appropriate size for your dogs.

Bake them at 400 for forty minutes. I like to leave them in the oven for an extra hour or so to dry out even more as the oven cools down. When you take them out, you can flip them over on the parchment to let the bottom dry out even more as they cool on the counter.

Store these GoodBites in your fridge for 3-5 days, and freeze the rest. I have taken to keeping all of my treats in the freezer because this way, my piglets eat them in two bites rather than gulp them right down the hatch without tasting them :)

I’m going to experiment with other meats as I know a lot of you are looking for grain free goodness for your pups! FYI – this recipe didn’t work as well with a chicken breast, I will have to play with the ratios and come up with a lovely grain-free chicken GoodBite.

Please note that I’m neither a vet nor an animal nutritionist, so it’s advisable to consult with your own authority when trying new foods, and also to ensure that your dog’s home cooked diet is balanced & includes all of the nutrients that are necessary for your dog’s health.