Sunday, August 16, 2009

Nice Cream Bars for Doggies

On hot days, Greta and Afreet (intrepid Schnauzers of mystery) never really want to go for walks.

They are, after all, about ten years old, and despite being vigorous and fit, they are dark in color and built close to the ground, which radiates heat this time of year. Afreet, who is an inky black color that evidently absorbs all the sun's heat, is especially resistant to summer walkies, even in the morning at the coolest time of day.

So what better treat after a walk in the summer sun than a cool, creamy doggie Nice Cream bar? This was so easy (and still healthy), it will be a summertime regular in our icebox.

These have a lot of healthy fats from the flax and peanut butter, a little fiber, and some trace minerals from the molasses. I was considering an avocado version, too, but I haven't tried it (yet). These aren't something that your dog should eat TOO often, but as a nice cool-off treat, these are terrific!

Measurements for this recipe were fast and loose, so this can be pretty flexible, if you're comfortable flexing.

1 cup peanut butter
5 tbsp blackstrap molasses
1/3 cup flaxseed meal
1-2 tbsp flaxseed oil (olive oil will also work)

a little soy milk or soymilk creamer, for thinning (if needed)

Place a sheet of foil over a small cookie sheet (or other flat surface, as long as it will fit in your freezer). Rub a little flaxseed or olive oil over it and set it aside.

Mix first three ingredients in a medium bowl and blend thoroughly with a fork. Add the flaxseed oil. The mixture should take on a thick, creamy texture as you mix it up. If it is thick to the point of being hard to stir, add a bit of soymilk (if you don't want to give your dog soy, you can use almond milk, or coconut milk, or any old type of milk you please). The end result will need to be stiff enough to hold its shape, about the consistency of cookie dough.

Spread the mixture onto your prepared pan and shape it into a rectangle about 1/2-1 inch thick. Pop that sucker in the freezer for around 1/2 hour.

Once the Nice Cream is frozen firm, cut it into small bars (according to your dog's size), and throw the bars into an airtight container or plastic bag. I used a cleaver to chop the frozen block into small squares and rectangles. It was easy.

My dogs are passionate about these. Afreet even showed a bit more pep during our morning walk, knowing there would be Nice Cream at the end!