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Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Amazingly yummy organic apple treats for dogs!

It's Fall and that means organic apple time!

Organic apples are one of Gracie's and my absolute favorite treats.

Whether just sharing a little slice with my Mum, dehydrated, or mixed in to create another amazing treat, apples just plain RAWK!

Over the years we've learned a lot about apples. The good kinds and the bad kinds.

The bad kinds include those that aren't organic. Why? Because apples that aren't organic according to the Environmental Working Group, " the Environmental Working Group's annual Dirty Dozen™ list of most pesticide-contaminated produce." They also indicate that 99 percent of apple samples tested positive for at least one pesticide residue.

What's on those conventional apples that is bad for us dogs? Chemically produced pesticides, fungicides and insecticides to keep those blemishes and bugs off the apples, and herbicides that come from the soil that's sprayed to keep the weeds at bay.

What's good about Apples?

Apples contain powerful antioxidants, potassium, phosphorus, calcium, manganese, magnesium, iron and zinc. Apples also contain vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, C, E, K, folate, and niacin. Just be safe and don't let your dog have the seeds as they contain a minute amount of amygdalin, a compound that contains cyanide that in large quantities and over time can be harmful. And everything in moderation, K?

The great thing is that there are many wonderful farmers growing amazingly healthier organic apples that have much less danger to our and our dog's bodies. And you can find them this time of year in many local grocers, farmers markets and more.

But what do you do with all those apples? We've got some great ideas for you:

Apples, plain and simple! 

One of our favorite treats is sharing a nice peeled apple with our Mum. Many times after a nice hike around our mountain, we'll take a cool down break on our back porch and share little slices of apple with our Mum. It's one of our favorite treats, and one of our favorite times with Mum.

Apple Jerky! 

You can make your nice harvest of organic apples last a little longer by dehydrating them. You can utilize your dehydrator or you can use your oven. Here's our recipe:
  • Wash and peel your organic apples.
  • Slice your apple with a mandolin, or with a knife very thinly.
  • Place in a lemon juice /water bath 1/2 to 1/2 ratio for a few minutes.
  • Immediately place in the oven on a stainless steel baking sheet.
  • Bake for about 2 hours at 250 degrees, but if very thin check after one hour.
  • Flip mid cooking time.
By slicing thin then should come out crispy, if you slice thicker they will come out chewy (which is good too!) If dry they should keep for a week, if chewy store in the fridge and use within one week. If using your dehydrator, just follow your machines instructions.

Pumpkin and Apples, oh my!

We came across a new recipe we can't wait to try called Pumpkin Apple Jerky. This recipes looks amazingly easy:

  • Mix 1 to 1 canned or homemade pumpkin puree and organic applesauce (you can find our recipe for homemade organic applesauce on our Facebook page).
  • Spread the mixture in slices about 1/8 inch thick on parchment paper.
  • Bake (or use your dehydrator - 6 hours at 130 degrees) for three hours at 250 (check after two hours).

The finished product should be able to be ripped, but not sticky. They last for about a week in the fridge.

Add a dollop of your favorite spread to your dog's apples!

One of my favorite things is when Mum spreads a little dollop of something on my apples. Sometimes she spreads a dab of organic peanut butter, sometimes a dab of pumpkin puree, sometimes just a little olive oil! These little dabs can make our apple snacks just a little different and add some good stuff for our tummies.

Remember all treats in moderation, K? Enjoy!

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