Animals are awesome. They are also messy. They’re hairy, stinky, and they never stop to wipe their paws before entering a room. Talk about rude roommates. But never fear! I have answers for pet parents’ messiest questions.
Doggie Muffins. ‘Ruff’ins? Or is that too much of a stretch? Really that bad? Alright, I’ll just get to it, then.
I promised I’d share the recipe for Lana’s birthday treats, remember? Well, your wait has definitely been worthwhile. This recipe is fantastic. It even survived me!
Lana is well known around here for being a… frankly a weird treat eater. The first time she tries a treat, she takes it, sets it down, and studies it. She’ll stare at it, sniff it, and lick it. Sometimes she’ll hold it in her mouth and drop it again. Eventually, she will enjoy her treat, but for a dog that’s eaten a plastic gift card, I can’t imagine why she hesitates with treats. No matter how fancy and how good they smell. I have no idea why, and I’ve never seen another dog do it.
But she actually didn’t do it with these Pupcakes! I was shocked when she ate half a muffin in one bite. She just sucked it up like a vacuum. And Miss Desi wasn’t far behind.
I mentioned in Lana’s Gotcha Day post that I took a bite which turned into two or three bites. No shame, this would make a delish breakfast muffin for humans, too! Plus, they smell like peanut butter cookies. I just can’t resist that aroma!
These aren’t exactly a diet food, for you or your dog. Like any treat, these should be given sparingly. Each muffin packs just about 150 calories. Not too bad. (I’m sure we all remember the importance of maintaining a healthy weight, so we won’t over-do this, right?)
The original recipe, posted by Pretty Little Pastimes is as follows:
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup peanut butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1 cup shredded carrots
- 1 cup whole wheat flour (preferred) or white flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl, combine the egg, peanut butter, oil, vanilla, and honey. Blend well. Stir in the carrots and mix thoroughly. Sift flour and baking soda together and fold into batter.
Fill 6 lined cupcake molds 3/4 of the way full with the batter. Bake for 20 minutes (35-40 minutes if making one full cake) or until cooked through. Remove from the oven and let the pupcakes cool completely before frosting.
Once cooled, spread peanut butter over the tops of the pupcakes and top with remaining carrot shred “sprinkles”. Break a Beggin’ Strip in half and push one side firmly into the cake to keep in place. Add a Milk Bone treat in front of the strip and your pupcakes are ready to be served!
She also has an adorable picture of her finished product. In all honesty, it is a little prettier than mine.
So just what did I do differently?
-I used all natural peanut butter. (I LOVE Publix brand because it contains no sugar. I believe Smuckers is the same, but right now I’m using Peter Pan which does have sugar, because I didn’t take the time to read the label. Oops.)
-I also replaced the vegetable oil with coconut oil. You can read about the benefits of coconut oil for people and dogs all over the internet, plus I love the way it smells.
-I didn’t have any carrots (how does that even happen?!) so I peeled an apple and grated it with the cheese grater. (Well, it ended up being like 1.5 apples, to get about a cup.) Then I squeezed the juice out so the muffins wouldn’t be too moist. Unlike my last treats.
-I didn’t sift the flour and baking soda. They didn’t rise much, so I probably should have, but I was lazy. They still turned out well, so I don’t really regret it.
-On that note, I did go with her suggestion to use whole wheat flour. Another good option would be brown rice flour, but that’s just too difficult to find.
-I added a dash of cinnamon to the batter. Why? Because it’s good for the dogs!
-Finally, the one I did bother to top I did so with peanut butter and an apple peel rather than a milk bone and beggin’ strip. Not as cute, but I worked with what I had. The chef received 0 complaints.
-Oh, and I almost forgot! My recipe ended up making 12 regular sized muffins. For the life of me I don’t know why it doubled, but I won’t ever complain about getting more for my money. Maybe mine ended up being smaller, who knows.
I highly recommend you try this recipe (her original recipe or my variation, whichever you prefer). It is so easy and I can almost guarantee your dog will love it. If you do decide to try it, I’d love to see your results! But for now, happy Saturday, readers!
I’m coming down with a case of the weepies. So what better way to combat that than with sweets?! Unfortunately (or fortunately, for my body’s sake) I didn’t buy gelato at Publix, even though it was on sale.
I am a lucky girl though, because I had forgotten some bananas in my fridge and in a panic I’d cut them up and frozen them a while ago, expecting to make “ice cream” with them. I’d never tried it before, but I figured ‘why not?’.
And then it hit me. I’ll make some for the dogs, too. After all, most dogs love bananas!
Anyway, I found the original recipe on Pinterest. If I’m going to be completely honest, theirs looks better. It actually looks like ice cream, whereas mine looks like batter. But, that’s okay, because looks don’t matter. The original recipe is for people and calls for banana, peanut butter, honey, and chocolate chips. I changed it quite a bit, simply because I’ve never had the honor of “inventing” -or reinventing- a recipe before, and this seemed easy enough for me to handle.
Banana is good for dogs, peanut butter is no problem (unless your dog is allergic, but I’m assuming that’s not really common since so many treats contain it), and honey is okay in smallish quantities (it’s just full of calories, but other than that no harm for dogs). Obviously the chocolate chips had to go. Unfortunately I get distracted and don’t measure, but I’ll try to guess proportions when I post the recipe at the end for y’all.
Like any fantastic (or hungry) chef, I tasted it after mixing all the ingredients, but it was missing something. So I added a cubed, peeled gala apple (I HATE the skin!!). Lana loves apples, and I had one already peeled because that was what I was originally going to snack on before I remembered I could make “ice cream”. And honestly, adding that juicy, sweet little touch made a huge difference! The apple brought it from I’ll eat it because I hate wasting food to I’ll eat it because it actually tastes good, in a healthful sort of way! I also added just a splash of vanilla extract. I’ve seen it in dog treats before, and I really wanted it for my ice cream.
At this point I pulled about 2/3s of the mixture out (well, I tried to get 2/3s) for the dogs. To theirs I added some baby carrots. I probably should have chopped them first, but I forgot. It worked out since it gave them something to chew on, but I’ll admit they dropped the goopy carrots on my carpet first. I should have thought of that… *facepalm*
Here’s my version of the recipe!
-3 Bananas, chopped and frozen
-About 3.5 tablespoons of natural peanut butter (to taste, really)
-About 2-2.5 tablespoons of honey
-1 peeled, chopped apple (gala is my favorite)
-Just a splash of vanilla extract
-A handful or 2 of baby carrots (completely optional)
Pulse all the ingredients together in a blender or food processor. If you chose to include baby carrots, you can blend them right in or leave them whole (chewing them should be good for your dogs’ teeth, but you probably won’t appreciate “ice cream” getting on your floor when/if your dogs pull the carrots out to save them for last).
If you want to make some for yourself, I just added 1.5 teaspoons of Stevia, a couple dashes of cinnamon (it increases metabolism!) and enough cocoa powder to turn it the color of a good cake batter. Actually, it was enough to make me say “oops!”, but it turned out just right. *Please don’t give your dogs this version, it isn’t safe for doggie consumption!*
Oh, and don’t forget to let the pups lick the spoon you used for the chocolate-free version! (Brody got to lick it too, but his picture didn’t turn out as well…)