2 Healthy Quinoa Dog Treat Recipes - Canine Compilation
picture of dog eating quinoa dog treats

2 Healthy Quinoa Dog Treat Recipes

Do you have a dog that needs super healthy treats? You’re in luck! This blog post is all about cooking up some delicious quinoa dog treats. Quinoa, as it turns out, is one of the most nutritious seeds on earth. It’s loaded with protein, fibre and essential nutrients. These recipes include other all-natural ingredients that compliment the quinoa, making it even healthier! We also include information on how to prepare quinoa properly, to remove its anti-nutrients.

There are 2 variations of quinoa dog treat recipes here, depending on whether you use whole quinoa or quinoa flour. I spent a long time researching and experimenting with these treats and I’m really pleased with how they came out. So is my dog!

Let’s start by taking a look at the different ingredients used, and why.

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thumb image making a snuffle mat guide

QUINOA, A SUPERFOOD

Quinoa is packed full of protein and fibre. It’s also a great source of essential minerals like magnesium, copper, manganese and phosphorous, not to mention anti-oxidants.

However, you might have also heard that quinoa contains anti-nutrients. Anti-nutrients block our ability – and our dogs’ abilities – to absorb nutrients. (Quinoa isn’t the only plant food that has anti-nutrients, they are in fact present in many common food types).

When prepared and cooked properly though, most of the anti-nutrients are broken down. What’s more, the other ingredients in this recipe are anti-nutrient blockers. So, you get all the benefits of quinoa and none of the problems!

Of course, there will always be a small number of dogs that have a sensitivity to certain foods. If your dog is intolerant to quinoa, you’ll most likely see symptoms such as gastrointestinal upset or drooling.

For more information on quinoa, see this article.

CRANBERRIES OR BLUEBERRIES

Both of these recipes include either cranberries or blueberries. Both fruits contain D-Mannose, which is a potent anti-nutrient blocker.

Both fruits also offer numerous vitamins, minerals and associated health benefits. For more information on cranberries, see this article. You can read more about the health benefits of blueberries here.

BONE BROTH

I used bone broth in these treats for several reasons. You could just use water instead of bone broth, but by using bone broth you make tastier, healthier treats, and the nutrients in bone broth help to block any remaining anti-nutrients in the quinoa.

Bone broth is a great source of calcium and collagen. It also contains high levels of phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, sodium and amino acids such as glycine and proline.

For this particular recipe, I chose to make the bone broth mainly from oxtail rather than from just bones. Oxtail has plenty of cartilage, which is a great source of glucosamine. Glucosamine is another anti-nutrient blocker.

You see where I’m going with these ingredients, right?

oxtail
Oxtail

Many people these days use oxtail as a great stock or soup base. Why not do that for you, and use the softened cartilage for the dog treats too?

CARTILAGE / BONE BROTH MUSH

Cooking bones (in this case oxtail) slowly and on lower heat helps break down the collagen and results in a gloopy liquid. When it’s cooked, the smaller bits of bone and cartilage are soft enough to squish with your fingers or scrape into tiny pieces. This makes an excellent, nutrient-dense mush for dog treats.

That’s exactly what I did with the oxtail bone broth. There were only a couple of the larger pieces that were too tough to grind down, so I threw those away. Don’t keep any whole pieces of bone – you don’t want your dog eating cooked chunks of bone!

cut and squashed cooked cartilage mush
Soft, well cooked cartilage will either squish in your fingers or can be cut up like hard butter
cartilage ground down
The soft cartilage then grinds down to mush in a blender or food processor
bone broth, soft cartilage and meat
From oxtail bone broth you get the broth, soft mushy cartilage and meat

Apart from those larger pieces though, all the rest of the cartilage ground down nicely. Not wanting to waste anything, I of course used the meat in the treat recipes too! I popped the meat and the softened cartilage together into the blender and ground it down into a mush. Doggy heaven!

Sometimes I think my poor dog is tortured by my cooking experiments. She waits patiently while I play around with ingredients, machines whirring and the smell of delicious doggy food being baked… It’s all worth it though to see her enjoying the treats!

For more information on how to make bone broth see this article.

QUINOA DOG TREATS RECIPES

EQUIPMENT NEEDED

photo of a coffee grinder

A blender you can also use as a grinder is such a useful tool to have for making treats.

As well as using it for your own needs, like making smoothies or grinding coffee beans, it’s perfect for grinding oats, nuts, seeds and even dried fruit for dog treat recipes.

GET A NUTRIBULLET BLENDER / GRINDER

QUINOA SAUSAGE DOG TREATS RECIPE

This recipe uses whole quinoa seeds. If you have quinoa flour, make the second recipe – quinoa crisps.

INGREDIENTS

  • 230gr (8 oz) bone broth (just use water if you don’t plan to make your own bone broth)
  • 100gr (3.5 oz) whole quinoa
  • 150gr (5 oz) ground meat (I used the meat leftover from making bone broth. You can replace with any lean ground meat)
  • 100gr (3.5 oz) ground cartilage (this is a result of making oxtail bone broth. Replace with 100gr meat if you didn’t make the bone broth)
  • 30gr (1 oz) ground cranberries or blueberries
  • 1 egg

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. If you’re using bone broth, prepare the bone broth. Follow the instructions in this article. If you want to make these treats using oxtail, as I did, get some oxtail from your butcher and use that as your base for the bone broth. You need to make this the day before you make up the treats as it takes several hours to cook.
  2. Put the quinoa in a fine sieve and rinse it well under cold water. This helps remove the bitter-tasting saponins (anti-nutrients).
  3. Put the bone broth / water in a saucepan with the quinoa and bring to the boil. If you had your bone broth in the fridge, it may be very firm. Don’t worry, just chop it up roughly – it will soon melt down again into liquid when it starts to heat up. Simmer for 20 minutes, stirring regularly. When it’s cooked, the quinoa will be fluffy. Leave it to cool. It should have absorbed all the liquid so there won’t be any need to drain it.
rinsing quinoa seeds
Step 2
chunks of bone broth jelly with quinoa
Step 3 – whole chunks of bone broth
cooked whole quinoa
Step 3 – cooked quinoa
  1. Blend the cranberries / blueberries together with the egg, meat and cartilage (or just meat if you’re not using cartilage) in a food processor.
  2. Add the cooled quinoa and mix together with a spoon.
  3. Preheat the oven to 180 deg C / 350 deg F.
  4. Cut the end off the piping bag if it’s disposable – I made these sausages quite skinny, so the opening was about 1cm. Put your piping bag into a tall glass – it’s easier to load it that way! Spoon some of the mixture into the bag. When the bag is 2/3 full, twist the top so the mixture doesn’t escape upwards.
prepared piping bag
Step 7
piping bag with quinoa dog treat mix in
Step 7
quinoa sausage dog treat mix in piping bag
Step 7
  1. Line the baking pans with greaseproof paper.
  2. Pipe long sausage lines onto the paper. NOTE: in the picture you will see that I forgot to line my pans. Please don’t make my mistake. The sausages will stick to the pan and you’ll have to scrape them off! Of course, your dog won’t care!
  3. Cook them for 20 minutes, but check to make sure they are not burning – every oven cooks at different rates.
  4. Once they are cooked, leave them to cool. They will keep for 3-4 days in the fridge.
piped quinoa sausages on a baking pan
Step 8
baked quinoa sausage dog treats
dog about to eat quinoa sausage treat

Alternatively, you can do what I do and dehydrate them to make them last longer. If you have a dehydrator, put the sausages in there and dehydrate until they snap – mine took 4 hours a 60 deg C. Yours may take more, or less, than that, depending on how chubby you made the sausages.

If you don’t have a dehydrator, use the oven. Don’t turn it off after cooking, just turn it down to the lowest setting. Leave the sausages in there. They will take a few hours, so be sure to check them from time to time. If they continue to brown, they are cooking, not dehydrating. This means your oven temp is too high. Crank the oven door open to let some of the heat out and that should fix it.

QUINOA CRISPS DOG TREATS RECIPE

This recipe differs from the sausage recipe in that it uses quinoa flour, not whole seeds.

You can buy quinoa flour ready made, or, put whole quinoa seeds in a blender / grinder and grind them to make your own flour.

quinoa seed and flour

Some of the amounts of the other ingredients are also different. This results in a smoother mixture that makes nice, thin crisps.

INGREDIENTS

  • 150gr (5 oz) bone broth (just use water if you don’t plan to make your own bone broth)
  • 100gr (3.5 oz) quinoa flour
  • 100gr (3.5 oz) ground meat (I used the meat leftover from making bone broth. You can replace with any lean ground meat)
  • 50gr (1 oz) ground cartilage (this is a result of making oxtail bone broth. Replace with meat if you didn’t make the bone broth)
  • 20gr (.5 oz) ground cranberries or blueberries
  • 1 egg

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. If you’re using DIY bone broth, prepare it following the instructions in this article. If you plan to make these treats using oxtail, as I did, get oxtail from your butcher and use it to make the bone broth. Do this the day before you bake the treats as bone broth takes several hours to cook.
  2. Put a cheese cloth, clean tea towel or paper coffee filter in a sieve or colander. Put the quinoa flour in and rinse it well under cold water. This will remove many of the bitter-tasting saponins (anti-nutrients). Don’t worry about draining it too much.
  3. Scrape the wet quinoa flour into a saucepan. Add the bone broth / water and bring to the boil, then simmer on the lowest heat for 15-20 minutes, stirring regularly. It will absorb the liquid quickly – don’t let it burn. Keep stirring it until it is like a paste. Remove from heat and leave it to cool.
rinsing quinoa flour
Step 2
cooked quinoa flour
Step 3
quinoa flour dog treat mix ready to bake
Step 4
  1. Blend together the quinoa, cranberries / blueberries, egg, meat and cartilage (or just meat if you’re not using cartilage) in your food processor.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180 deg C / 350 deg F.
  3. Cut 2 pieces of greaseproof paper to a size a little larger than the baking pan.
  4. Spread the mixture out on one of the sheets of paper. Put the other sheet on top and using your hands, push the mixture around to spread it evenly between the 2 baking sheets. Once you’ve got it spread out well, use a rolling pin to get it nice and thin. Mine were about 5mm (1/4″)
  5. Lift the sheets up and place them in the baking pan. Leave the top sheet of paper on for now – if you peel it off now it may take half the mixture with it.
dog treat mix on paper
Step 7
spread dog treat mix with hands
Step 7
dog treat mix spread between 2 pieces of parchment paper
Step 8
  1. Put the pan in the oven and cook for 10 minutes.
  2. Take it out of the oven and peel off the top piece of paper. Put it back in the oven and cook for another 10 minutes. Note: if the edges are already browning, turn down your oven temp. Every oven cooks at different rates and you don’t want the treats to burn.
  3. Take it out of the oven. Close the oven door but leave it turned on. Lift the paper up and turn it over, so the paper is now on top. Peel the paper off. Cut the treats up into slices. (I did this on a chopping board to avoid scratching the baking pan. Then I put the treats back in the pan). Put it back in the oven and cook for another 5-10 minutes. If they seem to be cooking too quickly, turn the oven temp down so you can cook them until they are firm.
  4. Once they are cooked, leave them to cool. They will keep for 3-4 days in the fridge.
baked quinoa crisp
Step 10
baked quinoa crisp cut into strips
Step 11
baked quinoa crisp ready for dehydration
Optional- dehydrate the treats

As with the quinoa sausage recipe above, you can finish these off in the oven on a low setting, or in a dehydrator. I like my treats to be nice and dry so they last longer, but some dogs need softer treats, in which case, don’t cook the treats until they are dry. Remove them from the oven when they are baked through but not crispy.

CONCLUSION

Quinoa is one of the most nutritious grains on earth and the other ingredients used in these recipes compliment it to make a healthy, nutrient-dense treat for your pup. So get out there and start making! 

Lickimat recipe book

REFERENCES

Lectin blockers

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