Sunday, January 30, 2011

Ah, Puppy Breath - Parsley Pooch Pops

For anyone who has followed this blog over the last couple of years you probably have a pretty good insight into how my mind works and have been privy to my somewhat outspoken opinions on certain things.  (shout out to all my beeps out there - Sorry I have not been around in the forums that much)  Such concerns as nutrition and FDA labeling regulations, or lack there of, coupled with conflicting information regarding the health of certain foods.  Yes, I have lived through the scandal over the evils of the avocado, now they are touted as one of natures miracle foods. Oye Vey!   Or how the makers of NutraSweet finally admit that there are "side effects" from consumption (like seizures).  Or how Stevia had to be sold as a "supplement" instead of a sweetener due to NutraSweet lobbyists.  Blah Blah Blah... I could go on for hours, but I will stop there; at least where human food is concerned.

I wanna talk about your dog's food, of which the FDA regulations are pretty much nil.  Yeah, that's right.  The FDA allows for pretty much ANYTHING to be placed in dog food.  I can tell you horror stories, but there is enough of that all over the net.  And while some of the information is fanatical propaganda, sadly, most of it is true.  Then you have the constant recalls of this food or that food because some by-product shipment from China was contaminated with this or that. Top that off with the preservatives that are used which are deemed to dangerous for human consumption. It's a recipe for health disaster.

I lost my last companion to Diabetes due to a veterinarian prescribed special dog food, that upon closer inspection of the ingredients, was nothing but a steady diet of junk.

Brewers Rice, Corn Starch, Pork Fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid), Dried Egg Product, Powdered Cellulose, Chicken Liver Flavor, Flaxseed, Potassium Citrate, Soybean Oil (preserved with BHA, propyl gallate and citric acid), Calcium Carbonate, L-Lysine, Iodized Salt, Choline Chloride, vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin A Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid), Dried Beet Pulp, L-Threonine, Taurine, Vitamin E Supplement, minerals (Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Manganous Oxide, Copper Sulfate, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite), preserved with Mixed Tocopherols & Citric Acid, L-Tryptophan, L-Carnitine, Beta- Carotene, Rosemary Extract.

If you read this ingredient list, you will see that the only protein is this formulation is "dried egg product" and maybe the Chicken Liver "flavor", everything else is just carbs and fat...  Corn starch speaks for itself, but Brewer's rice?  It might as well say, converted white rice.  And the Soybean oil is preserved with BHA - a carcinogen.  A perfect recipe for diabetes in not only humans, but canines....  Which is what happened.

It only stands to rights that I am a little more sensitive to the nutritional needs of my new canine companion.  While I have done a ton of research and have finally found several "dog food" formulas that I am OK with.  I still refuse to buy any of the dog treats available at either the mega-mart or the pet-mart.  If you read the ingredients, they are still full of "junk"; even the ones that claim to be organic or holistic...

In my personal experience there are 3 big bad no no's in canine food and treats...  Gluten (from wheat), Corn (in any form) and Soy.  There are to many chances for intolerance.  Another is preservatives like BHA, BHT, TBHQ, propyl gallate (a xenoestrogen) and Ethoxyquin (which is a pesticide and a hardener used in synthetic rubber manufacturing) ... I figure, if I am not eating preservatives, then neither should canine pal.  Don't get me wrong, I am not going to jump on the BARF wagon or anything (Biologically Appropriate Raw Food).  Simply because part of the reason that Otto had Calcium Oxalate stones in his bladder to begin with was because he was getting TOO much protein, so I don't necessarily agree with that particular diet either.  It's all about balance and stopping the over exposure to harmful chemicals.

Thus I present my formulation for a healthy homemade dog treat that, as a bonus, will help freshen your pets breath as well as promote urinary tract health.  Parsley is a wonder herb.  I don't mean that curly stuff either, I mean good old Italian Flat leaf parsley. Barley, though a grain and technically a carb, is low in gluten.  Flax and Olive oil are good for the skin and coat (though I would not feed more that 1 or 2 a day as flax has other abilities in the "fiber-lax" department, if you catch my drift)  The egg white helps to bind the whole thing together without the extra fat from the yolk and the Applesauce, just makes it taste good.  LOL

Parsley Pooch Pops 

1/4 cup (7 g) (.25 oz) Fresh Italian Parsley leaves (try to keep the stems to a minimum)
1/4 cup (60 ml) (2 oz) Water
1 Egg White
2 TB Olive oil
1/4 cup (75 g) (2.5 oz) Applesauce, unsweetened
2 cups (250 g) (8.8 oz) Barley flour
1/2 cup (85 g) (3 oz) Golden Flax Seeds, ground (or Flax Meal)

Puree the Parsley with the water in the food processor.

In a small bowl, beat the egg white and olive oil together with a fork.

Add the applesauce and Parsley puree, stirring to combine.

In a large bowl, whisk together the Barley flour and ground Flax seed.

Make a well in the flour mixture and pour in the Egg/Applesauce/Parsley mixture.

Stir with a fork until well combined. (Just like makin' pasta)

Wrap the dough in plastic and let it rest at room temp for 30 minutes (this allows for even dispersion of the moisture in the dough)

Line a baking sheet with parchment and begin preheating the oven to 375 degrees.

Begin breaking down the dough into .5 oz (13 g) pieces.

Roll each piece into a ball and load them up on the baking sheet (cause they won't spread or anything)

Bake for 20 minutes.

Turn off the oven and let the "cookies" cool in the oven for 1 hour, if you want a softer center;

or you can let them sit in the oven for 2 hours to dry them all the way through.

And when your puppy is done defending the lawn from wayward leaves,

reward him/her for a job well done.

There is nothing quite like a smile on a dog.

Mangia!!  (after all, you can eat them too, if you want)  LOL

1 comment:

Patti T. said...

How sweet, you for taking such good care of your puppy and him for just well, being such a cute puppy. I just want to scoop him up in my arms.