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Sunday, May 30, 2010

The story of a true Gluten Free Chow...

Gluten free chow--the name--came about because I make gluten free food (aka-chow as some call it in the slang version) but also because we own two dogs that are Chow-Chows. So for us it was kind of a play on words.
"The Chows"--more children then pets in our home--are treated quite well. Spoiled? Naw--well...maybe.  To us they are "the girls" to my parents, they are "the Grand-Chows"...need I say more? My justification?They do help around the house alot gardners (aka--digging holes in the garden, 'pruning' my radishes by eating the radish tops, and trimming my sunflowers back by eating the leaves) they are a huge help!

Ok--so I do make their own dog treats. I know, I know...but it isnt really that excessive, is it? I started making them a few years ago when the dog food scare happened and I simply did not trust any company or anything store bought for the chows. I did settle on this food, after calling the company and learning they grow their own wheat and make it all in the USA Three Dog Bakery (I highly recommend their dog food and treats by the way).
So back to making my own dog treats. Well, we deduced after a particulrly bad allergy season last year that just didn't go away for our one chow, that she maybe had a wheat allergy. So I switched her to a wheat free food from Three Dog, and I began making their dog treats gluten free. Turns out it made such a difference in her allergies and itching, that our one chow is truely gluten-free--hence--a Gluten Free Chow.
Does blogging imitate real life? I guess sometimes it can!
Make these for your doggies, they are 100% natural, and all good ingredients, after all its just people ingredients.

Homemade Dog Treats

Use an inexpensive gluten free flour, or mix of flours. Like potato and rice flour.
I buy Bob's Red Mill at Costco--the huge bag is only $5.99. I consider this to be inexpensive enough for this recipe.

Ginger is good for dog tummies and digestion, cinnamon is great for their blood and can keep allergies at bay, along with the honey! Add oats for fiber if you want to.
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 cups gluten free flour mix (see note above)
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons ground ginger
  • 1 cup oats (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, on low speed, combine molasses, honey, water, oil, cinnamon and ginger. Beat until combined on low speed. Add to the bowl the GF flour, and baking soda. Combine. Add the oats if using. Combine again with a few turns of the paddle.
Scrape the bowl checking sides and bottom. Mixture will be stiff.

On a lightly GF floured surface, roll out dough to 1/4 inch thick. To create the little ‘bite-sized pieces’ what I do is roll it into a piece of parchment paper, score it with a pizza cutter into little sized squares…this scores it BEFORE baking it. When it cools, they snap apart.

Place the parchment sheets on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, or until it becomes crisp, but not dark brown.They crisp even more once cooled.

Notes about the treats:
  • For dogs with sensitive teeth, puppies or older dogs--bake the treats only 15 minutes. They will remain softer to chew.
  • Cool on a rack COMPLETELY, then they just snap apart at your score lines. Store completely cooled treats in a jar or zip lock baggies. Keeps indefinitely. Freezes wonderfully.
  • Dough can also be frozen, then defrosted and baked.
  • At Christmas, I roll the dough and cut out bone shapes with a cookie cutter and these are bagged as gifts to friends and neighbor dogs.

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