I hope everyone had a wonderful (and Sweet Potato filled) Thanksgiving. I tried out several new recipes for our favorite sweet spud that I will share with you in the coming weeks, but this week (our 100th posting), I want to share some recipes of a different kind. Now, I have long known just how healthy Sweet Potatoes are for people, but it never occurred to me that they are equally healthy for our four-legged friends. That is, until this weekend when I was shopping at my local pet store and saw something that got my curiosity going. Sweet Potato Dog Treats!
It really makes perfect sense. All of the same health benefits apply to our furry friends. Low fat, high fiber, low glycemic index. It’s no secret that many of our pampered pooches tend to fall on the plump side of normal, so many dog food manufacturers are making rawhide substitutes out of Sweet Potatoes. The cool thing is, you can even make them yourself for a fraction of the cost. Dogs love them for their sweet flavor, and the texture even helps clean their teeth. The Dog Treat Kitchen offers the following easy to prepare recipe.
- 2-3 Large Sweet Potato, washed & dried
- Preheat oven to 250° F
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Cut off one side of the sweet potato lengthwise, as close to the edge as possible. Cutting the side of the potato first allows you to then turn the potato onto this flat surface that you have just created. Having a stable area to rest the potato will make it easier to cut the potato into slices. Don’t discard that first piece, it comes out just as yummy as the rest!
- Cut the rest of the potato into 1/3″ slices, no smaller than 1/4″.
- Place them on the prepared baking sheet.
- Bake for 3 hours, turning half way through.
- Cool completely on a wire rack.
Degree of Chewiness – Baking for 3 hours results in a soft, but chewy dog treat. If your dog prefers more of a crunch, then bake for an additional 20-30 minutes. When you take the sweet potatoes out of the oven, they may at first appear to be too soft. Let them cool completely on a wire rack before you decide whether or not to bake them longer. This is because they will continue to dry or harden while cooling.
Crunchy snacks are just the beginning, a quick internet search turns up recipes for fish & sweet potato dog food, Puppy Sweet Potato Muffins and my favorite…Tator Gators from the Canine Cookery. These delicious sounding biscuits are made from molasses, sweet potatoes and bananas.
Roll dough to ¼” thick or more on a lightly dusted surface and cut into fun shapes. Adjust dough texture, if needed, with liquid from sweet potatoes or with flour added sparingly. Baking time will depend on size and thickness of treats, pan material, number of pans in oven simultaneously, and other factors, including altitude and humidity. We use a 3″ alligator cutter for our famous “tater gators“ and baking time is about 28 minutes, with pan rotated at the halfway-point. When done, cookies will be crunchy and lightly browned underneath.