Well, I got totally obsessed with the idea of creating a tasty Sweet Potato and Lentil recipe to be used as a healthy alternative to chips or tortillas…
Three Swings, and Three Misses.
They weren’t HORRIBLE, mind you… but they just weren’t anything I would be excited to eat, and they sure weren’t something I would rave about to other people!
I noticed Athena was more-interested-than-usual whenever I would make another attempt with these ingredients. As it turns out, I created an irresistible dog treat (that people could also eat if they were desperate)!
–>Which got me thinking about people who might be afraid to experiment with Healthy New Recipes for fear of wasting food on “failed” dishes…
–>And then I started thinking about all the homeless doggies in the world who would LOVE to eat those healthy foods….
–>So of course I came to the conclusion: “People who want to adopt a Nutritious, Real Food lifestyle should also adopt Rescue Animals!”
Totally Logical , right?
I contacted my super-animal-rescue-hero buddy Melissa Lawson with Texas Pit Crew , to see if they had any advice or information to contribute…
Me: I accidently invented a Lentil Sweet Potato dog treat, and Athena LOVES them! I think I’m going to post the recipe on my food blog and use the opportunity to promote pet adaption and rescue! What do you think?
TPC Melissa: I think that’s a wonderful idea and Texas Pit Crew is in total support! This “accidental” dog-treat recipe is almost a metaphor for what we try to do: give tragic stories a happy-ever–after. There are any number of circumstance that lead to our intervention. Animal abuse or neglect, puppy mills, dogs that grew bigger or noisier than their owners were prepared to deal with… Adoption is so necessary for stopping the rampant euthanasia of the pets people throw away. Shelters and rescues even have pure-bred dogs for people who prefer those. There are very few good reasons to buy from a breeder, rather than adopting. We try to educate the public on what is involved in proper pet ownership, as well as providing referrals to resources. When that isn’t effective, we use the resources at our disposal to remove and re-home the animals.
Me: Since you are clearly looking for people to take pet ownership as a deadly-serious responsibility, what would you say to those cave-men types who think Dogs (and people for that matter) shouldn’t be vegetarians, and should just eat raw meat-off-the-bone?
TPC Melissa: Dogs (and people) need balanced diets. Healthy fruits and veggies are essential to a dog’s diet. According to The Dog Doctor:
“Lentils are an excellent food for dogs! They are inexpensive and have many nutritional benefits, such as helping to lower blood cholesterol. Also, lentils are a great source of magnesium and folate- both of which lower the risk of heart disease. The insoluble dietary fiber in lentils improve digestion by helping prevent constipation and irritable bowel disease. The soluble fiber helps stabilize blood sugar levels by slowing down carbohydrate digestion. Lentils are an excellent protein source- with 26% protein. In Middle Eastern cultures, lentils are referred to as “the poor man’s meat”. They are also an excellent source of iron. Lentils can be excellent base of a home-prepared diet, as they are easy to prepare and inexpensive!”
Me: You have adopted and Fostered many animals, and your home is such a loving refuge. Your “Fur-Babies” really seem like family members, more than pets. What wisdom do you have to share with someone who is considering adoption?
TPC Melissa: Take your time and find an animal that you connect with and that connects with you. Don’t adopt on appearance alone. Find one with a temperament that fits with your lifestyle. Be patient and give them time to adjust. Most importantly, love them and make them part of your family.
Athena’s Lentil Sweet Potato Doggie Treats
2 cups split red lentil flour (a coffee grinder or blender should be able to powder your dried lentils)
¼ cup flax meal
1 Tbs nutritional yeast
½ tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp smoked sea salt (for your fancy FurBaby)
¼ tsp cumin
1 cup sweet potato puree (cooked and cooled)
½ Tbs coconut oil
Peel and cook your sweet potato in whichever method you most prefer (if you choose to use canned sweet potato puree you a likely choosing a lot of sugar and additives that your pooch does not need). Blend the sweet potato and coconut oil and set aside to cool.
Combine all Dry Ingredients.
Mix all the ingredients together into a “dough”. You may need to add a bit more lentil flour if it’s too moist, or a tiny bit of water if it’s too dry.
Roll out the dough between two sheets of parchment paper. Try to get it as thin as possible. Carefully remove the top sheet of parchment paper.
You could use cookie cutters to create shapes, or just use a knife or pizza wheel to mark the size and shape of the treats. Leave the treats on the parchment, and transfer the whole piece of parchment onto your baking sheet or pan.
Bake in the oven on 200 for 45 minutes and then check them. You may want to flip them or spread them out if they are still soft. Your ideal treat will be totally dry and not soft at all. It’s supposed to be a super crunchy doggie treat. If any of the pieces are starting to brown or burn, remove them from the pan and return the rest to the oven. Continue to bake at 200 and check every 10-15 minutes until all treats are crunchy.
Let the treats cool in the open air before putting them in an airtight container.
Have fun rewarding your Doggie with these home-made treats!
Blurry rescue doggies love Athena’s Lentil Sweet Potato Treats!
Melissa Lawson is not only the no-nonsense mother of two humans and numerous Furbabies,
but she is ALSO the creative artisan known as The Tattooed Quilter.