Homemade Dog Treat Recipe

‘Tis the season for treats… homemade doggy treats, that is!

Many of us spend a lot of time in the kitchen over the holidays cooking and baking for our friends and loved ones. If you’re a dog owner, I’m sure you’re used to your pup staring at your every move in the kitchen, hoping for a taste of whatever you’re cooking up. At least that’s the case with my pup, Milton! As soon as he hears me in the kitchen- he runs over to see what I’m up to, just in case it benefits him at the end.

I typically make these treats for him throughout the year (yes, I am that doggy mom whose pup is basically her child and spoils him rotten) as they are super easy and he loves them. I do tweak the ingredients every time, just to change it up a bit. If the recipe calls for banana, I might replace this with organic unsweetened applesauce or 100% pureed organic pumpkin. During the holidays I like to use 100% pureed organic pumpkin and cinnamon.

While our pups may not be able to eat most of the deliciousness we whip up in the kitchen, these homemade treats are doggy approved and the perfect way to include them in your holiday baking festivities!

P.S. They also make great gifts for all the doggy-lovers in your life!Homemade Dog Treats

Adapted from: wholefoodsmarket.com

Serves: 24

 Ingredients: 

  • 1 banana, mashed (or 1/4- 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce, 100% pureed pumpkin, or sweet potato)
  • 1 cup oat flour
  • 2/3 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup dried parsley
  • 3 tablespoons all natural peanut butter
  • 1 egg, beaten

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 300°F.
  2. Put banana (or fruit/veggie used) in a large bowl and add oat flour, oats, parsley, peanut butter, and egg and stir well to combine.
  3. Set aside for 5 minutes.
  4. Roll mixture into 24 balls, using about 1 tablespoon dough for each. Transfer to a large parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
  5. Use the back of a spoon or the heel of your hand to press each ball into a (1 1/2- to 2-inch) coin.
  6. Bake until firm and deep golden brown on the bottom, 40 to 45 minutes.
  7. Set aside to let cool completely.

Notes: It is best to store these in an airtight container in the refrigerator. You can also freeze them, just make sure to thaw the treats before handing them out.

For a fun added touch, you can also roll out the dough to make shapes with cookie cutters! If using cookie cutters, serving size will be less.


Basilia Theofilou is a contributor on our blog as well as one of the nutrition advisors here at PreviMedica. You can read more about her here.

Previ Culinary: Cranberry Balsamic Chicken

Cranberries are in season and they aren’t just for Thanksgiving dinner. This recipe combines the sweetness of maple and balsamic along with the ever-so-tart cranberry, to produce the perfect mouthwatering sauce. Cranberries are high in antioxidants and fiber (nutritional speaking they are similar to blueberries!) so while they are in season be sure to include them where you can.

 

One Pan Cranberry Balsamic Roasted Chicken

Recipe from: www.cottercrunch.com

Ingredients:

  • 2 ½ chicken thighs or breasts with skin on (around 4 to 6 chicken thighs or breast)
  • Fresh thyme
  • Sprinkle of dried Italian herbs (optional)
  • 1/3 cup to 1/2 cup fresh cranberries (or previously frozen)
  • 1 tbsp. each maple syrup and balsamic vinegar mixed together to coat chicken during roasting

Marinade Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup cranberries
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. gluten free tamari sauce or coconut aminos (optional)
  • 2 tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp black peppers
  • 2 garlic cloves (or 1 tsp minced)

Directions:

  1. Clean your chicken then place in a roasting or baking dish. Set aside.
  2. Prepare your marinade.
  3. Blend all the ingredients listed in the Marinade in a food processor or blender until liquified and smooth.
  4. Pour this over the chicken, coating evenly.
  5. Cover and place in fridge to marinade for 30 minutes or up to 24 hrs.
  6. Preheat oven to 375F.
  7. Remove chicken from fridge.
  8. Add your extra 1/3 to 1/2 cup cranberries, thyme, and Italian herbs to the dish. Spread it out evenly on and around the chicken.
  9. Bake skin side down first for 22 minutes.
  10. Remove and turn skin side up. Then brush each chicken skin with the maple syrup/balsamic vinegar combo.
  11. Add more seasoning (like dried herbs, salt, pepper) to the top if desired. if using fresh herbs, wait to add until after broil
  12. Broil for about 2-4 minutes or until skin is crispy and chicken is cooked evenly inside.
  13. Updated If using boneless chicken, cooking time will be around 35 minutes total.
  14. After thoroughly cooked, remove from oven.
  15. Spoon the sauce from the pan onto each chicken thigh/breast and a pinch of black pepper or cracked pepper.
  16. Serve with the roasted cranberries on top and any extra fresh herbs desired.

Cranberry-balsmaic-chicken-recipe

 

 


 

 

Megan Huard, Chef RD and Stefanie Gates, chef, are regular contributors to our blog and culinary advisors for PreviMedica. They enjoy developing recipes and creating cooking videos to share with our readers, as well as working one-on-one with our clients to teach them valuable cooking skills. You can learn more about them here and here.

All Things Lemon

Freshly picked selection:

Lemon

Lemons originated in Southeast Asia but are now grown in tropical climates around the world, with most lemons coming from California. Lemons have been used for centuries for everything from toothpaste to its use as an epilepsy remedy.

What to look for when purchasing:

Choose fruit with smooth, brightly colored skin with no tinge of green. Spots of green mean that they are under-ripe.  They should be plump and firm.

Varieties:

Lemons can range in size from a small egg to a grapefruit.  There are three varieties of lemons: Eureka’s which are your common lemon and have a thick skin, Lisbon lemons which have a thinner skin and are typically seedless, and Meyer lemons that tend to have an orange tint and a much stronger flavor.

How to store:

Lemons can be left at room temperature for a few days or refrigerated for 2-3 weeks.

How to prepare:

Lemons have a multitude of uses in sweet and savory dishes. Typically the juice is used in recipes, but the skin can also be used for lemon zest to add flavor or to make candied lemon rinds.

Nutritional Benefit:

Recipes:

Lemon provides just the right amount of acid for a tasty salad dressing.

Massaged Kale Salad with Creamy Lemon Vinaigrette 

Lemon also pairs extremely well with just about any kind of fish. Cooking Classy keeps it simple for their recipe and uses the lemon juice and the zest.

One Pan Roasted Lemon Pepper Salmon

Not only can you use it on fish but it works well with other proteins, such as this quick one-pan dinner.

Pork Chops with Blueberry Lemon Thyme Sauce

Lastly, of course we have to talk dessert. These lemon poppy seed muffins from Cook Eat Paleo are an office favorite.

Lemon Poppy Paleo Muffins

Our Chefs & Nutritionists Say:

“Like lemon flavored sports drinks? Did you know you can make your own with just a few simple ingredients and none of the added sugar or artificial colors? Check out or recipe here.

 

References:

Herbst, Sharon Tyler. Food lover’s companion: comprehensive definitions of over 3000 food, wine, and culinary terms. 3rd ed. New York: Barron’s Educational Series, 1995. Print.

Mateljan, George. The Worlds Healthiest Foods. Seattle: George Mateljan Foundation, 2007. Print.

Previ Culinary: Gluten Free Sugar Cookies

The holidays are upon us as well as the sweet treats that come along with them. One of our top suggestions for attending a holiday party is to bring something that you can eat, and these gluten free sugar cookies may just be it. They are just as tender as their gluten containing counterpart and they will be the hit of the party whether everyone is avoiding gluten or not. 

Gluten Free Christmas Sugar Cookies

Adapted from: Gluten Free Christmas Cookies, Written by Ellen Brooks

Yields: 2-4 dozen depending on size

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups quinoa flour OR 1 cup amaranth flour and ½ cup almond flour
  • 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • ½ cup cornstarch
  • 1 tsp. xanthan gum
  • 1 tsp. cream of tartar
  • Pinch of salt
  • ½ lb. unsalted butter, cut into thin slices
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tbsp. whole milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Sweet rice flour for dusting

Directions:

  1. Combine flour, confectioner’s sugar, cornstarch, xanthan gum, cream of tartar, and salt in a food processor fitted with a steel blade and blend for five seconds. Add butter to the work bowl and process, using on and off pulsing until mixture resembles coarse meal.
  2. Combine egg, milk, and vanilla in a small cup and whisk well. Drizzle liquid into the work bowl and pulse about 10 times or until a stiff dough forms.  If dough is dry and doesn’t come together, add additional milk 1 tsp. at a time until dough forms a ball.
  3. Divide dough into half and wrap each half in plastic wrap. Press dough into a pancake and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or until firm.
  4. Preheat oven to 350°F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking sheets.
  5. Lightly dust a sheet of wax paper and a rolling pin with sweet rice flour. Roll dough to a thickness of ¾ inch.  Dip cookie cutters in sweet rice flour and cut out cookies.  Remove excess dough and transfer cookies to the baking sheet.  Re-roll excess dough, chilling it for 15 minutes if necessary.
  6. Bake cookies for 10-12 minutes or until edges are brown. Cook for 2 minutes on the baking sheets and then transfer them with a spatula top cooling racks.
  7. Decorate if desired.

 

 


 

Megan Huard, Chef RD and Stefanie Gates, chef, are regular contributors to our blog and culinary advisors for PreviMedica. They enjoy developing recipes and creating cooking videos to share with our readers, as well as working one-on-one with our clients to teach them valuable cooking skills. You can learn more about them here and here.

All Things Chickpeas

Freshly picked selection:

Chickpeas

DSCN2361Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are part of the legume family and slightly larger than an average pea. They are used primarily in Indian and Mediterranean cooking.

What to look for when purchasing:

Chickpeas are usually purchased canned or dried but can be found fresh in some places. If you are purchasing fresh chickpeas, they typically come in a green pod which should be free of blemishes and not slimy.

How to store:

Once cooked, chickpeas should be refrigerated. Dried chickpeas should be stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.

How to prepare:

Chickpeas are extremely versatile and can be prepared in many different ways. If you buy fresh chickpeas, you can eat them raw or sprouted. Canned chickpeas are often added to soups, stews, and salads, or made into hummus.

Nutritional Benefit:

healthy-chickpea-recipesRecipes:

Most Americans eat their chickpeas in the form of hummus, which is extremely easy to make. We love to add some beets for unique color and added nutrients.

Beet Hummus

Chickpeas are a also an easy, cost-effective way to add protein to any salad.

Chickpea Salad in a Mason Jar

In addition to adding protein, chickpeas also make a great low-calorie, high-protein thickener for soups. You can replace milk or cream in any soup recipe with chickpeas and puree for a creamy texture. A great option for anyone avoiding dairy.

Butternut Squash Chickpea Soup

While whole chickpeas have tons of uses, chickpea flour is also extremely versatile and makes a wonderful gluten free option. You can use it in place or regular flour like in this latkes recipe:

Zucchini Chickpea Latkes

Our Chefs & Nutritionists Say:

“Chickpeas are my ultimate favorite of the legumes! I use them to make my own hummus or in vegetarian dishes like chickpea curry. But my favorite way to use chickpeas is to roast them. I add a little olive oil and roast them until they are golden brown and crunchy. Then I sprinkle them with chili powder, and either eat them as a snack or use them to top salads, kind of like croutons. Yummm!” -Eunice Holmes, RD  

 

References:

Herbst, Sharon Tyler. Food lover’s companion: comprehensive definitions of over 3000 food, wine, and culinary terms. 3rd ed. New York: Barron’s Educational Series, 1995. Print.

Mateljan, George. The Worlds Healthiest Foods. Seattle: George Mateljan Foundation, 2007. Print.

Nourished Kids Holiday Gift Guide

Looking for creative, food-themed gifts for the little ones in your life? Of course you are! These gifts may not be on your child’s wish list yet (unless you have an aspiring mini chef in the house!), but they are sure to encourage a love of food and cooking from an early age. As you’ve heard us say before, making healthy food fun is one of the best ways to get kids to try new things. These gift ideas will inspire them to learn about about the nutritious foods around them, how these foods are grown, and make them excited about helping you in the kitchen.

 

For Babies:

Touched By Nature Organic Cotton Onesiesonesies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of our team members just had a baby and we would not be proper nutritionists and chefs if we didn’t give the little guy his very first food-related gift. So cute and so soft.

 

Olimpia and Carolina Superfood Teething Toy

Olimpia and Carolina

We are suckers for any toy that looks like a superfood! These environmentally-friendly teething toys are perfect for achy gums. And who knows? Your baby’s first word could be broccoli. Nothing wrong with that! This veggie crate of organic cotton teethers is equally adorable.

 

For Toddlers and Preschoolers:

The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle

We love this book because not only does it teach kids how plants grow, it also comes with seeded paper that you and your kids can plant to grow your own flowers! How cool is that?

Another classic: this Eating the Alphabet board book by Lois Ehlert.

 

Melissa and Doug Wooden Play Food

Cutting Food - Wooden Play Food

If your child is not quite ready to use a real knife, this play set is a great way for him/her to start practicing. The wooden food toys are stuck together with Velcro, and can easily be cut with the wooden knife that comes in the set. Something else that we love about this set is that it teaches kids the concept of fractions. Yay math!

 

Sunny Side Up Gardens Little Pizza Garden

Little Pizza Garden

If there is one thing we can count on it’s that kids love pizza. Who can blame them? We do too! This little garden includes everything you need to grow your own pizza toppers- seeds for tomatoes, basil, oregano, bell peppers, scallions, and parsley.

 

 

For Kids Ages 5 and Up:

Curious Chef Knife Set

Kids love things that are made just for them! These kid-friendly knives have ergonomic handles, blunt tips, and serrated cutting edges to be safe enough for kids to handle, but sharp enough to actually be useful. They are on our wish list this year!

 

 

Planetbox Stainless Steel Lunchboxes

You have probably seen this lunchbox featured in some of our Nourished Kids posts. It is one of our favorites because it is eco-friendly and durable (we’ve had ours for 3 years and it still looks exactly the same). All the different compartments and containers allow you to create different varieties of fun lunches for your kids. You also get a free magnet set to personalize it with your kid’s favorite design.

If you’re looking for something smaller, this LunchBots bento box is a great option, and you can use silicone liners like these for dips or foods that are runnier.

 

Back to the Roots Water Garden

Image result for back to the roots water garden

We want this for ourselves! This self-cleaning fish tank also grows herbs and microgreens. Per the website: “The fish waste fertilizes the plants and the plants clean the water — so fewer water changes required!” Doesn’t get any cooler than that!

Nourished Kids Holiday Gift Guide (2)

No matter what gift you decide on for the Nourished Kid in your life, here is a friendly reminder that kids learn best by example. Continue to practice your own healthy habits and your kids are sure to follow. Happy Holidays!


Eunice Holmes, RDN, LDN is a regular contributor to this blog and assistant nutrition manager for PreviMedica. Her favorite things are pretty food, being a cat lady without actually having a cat, and of course, her family.

 

Previ Culinary: Dairy Free Hot Chocolate

Baby, it’s cold outside! Sometimes nothing will do the trick except a steaming mug of hot chocolate, and when you’re avoiding dairy it may be a bit more challenging to make. This recipe is simple, decadent, and it will warm you from the inside out without the dairy.

Dairy Free Hot Chocolate

Written by: PreviMedica Culinary Team

Ingredients:

  • 4 cans coconut milk (full fat or lite)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt

Directions:

  1. Pour coconut milk, sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt into a large saucepan and cook over medium high heat.
  2. Stir continually until all ingredients are dissolved and mixture is smooth and steaming hot. Serve and enjoy!

*Feel free to stir in other additions such as peppermint extract, whipped coconut cream or even dairy free chocolate chips or chocolate shavings!

**This recipe can also be made in the slow cooker.  Simply combine all ingredients and cook with the slow cooker on high heat for two to three hours, stirring every once in a while.

df-hot-chocolate

 


 

Megan Huard, Chef RD and Stefanie Gates, chef, are regular contributors to our blog and culinary advisors for PreviMedica. They enjoy developing recipes and creating cooking videos to share with our readers, as well as working one-on-one with our clients to teach them valuable cooking skills. You can learn more about them here and here.

 

All Things Oats

Freshly picked selection:

Oat

HolidayGifts (19 of 27)Oats in their original state are typically given to animals as feed. Once they are clean, hulled, and toasted, we get what is known as oat groats. Finally those are steamed and flattened producing rolled oats, which is the form of oats most of us are familiar with.

What to look for when purchasing:

When purchasing oats you will have the option for rolled oats/old fashioned oats, quick cooking oats, and instant oats. The only difference is the cooking time. Oats can also be purchased gluten free. Oats are naturally gluten free but often processed in facilities with gluten, so it is best to purchase certified gluten free oats if you are avoiding gluten.

Varieties:

There is only one variety of the actual oat plant however they are processed in multiple different ways, producing everything from oat flour to oat bran. Rolled oats are the ones most of us eat for breakfast. There are also steel cut/Irish oats, which are groats that have been cut into 2-3 pieces instead of rolled. Steel cut oats take longer to cook than rolled oats. Oat flour is made from groats that are ground into a fine powder. Lastly, oat bran is actually the outer casing for the oat and very high in soluble fiber.

How to store:

Oats should be stored in an airtight container.

How to prepare:

Traditional rolled oats are typically cooked in water or milk to make oatmeal. They can also be used to make granola. Oat flour can be used in baking in place of other flours.

Nutritional Benefit:

OatsRecipes:

For a tasty breakfast or great on-the-go snack, we love our Apple Quinoa Bites.

Apple Quinoa Bites

Another convenient and trendy way to enjoy oats is to make Overnight Oats. Short version: you add oats and other ingredients (including some form of liquid) to a jar and put in the fridge overnight. The next morning they are good to eat without having to cook them. Domesticate Me has a great recipe with more information about this technique.

Peanut Butter & Banana Overnight Oats

Oats are great for making granola, and it’s even easier if you make it in a slow cooker. Check out our Eggnog Granola which is not only tasty but makes a wonderful homemade holiday gift.

Eggnog Granola

Oats also make a great substitute for traditional bread crumbs. We used them in our gluten free meatballs.

Gluten Free Homestyle Meatballs

Our Chefs & Nutritionists Say:
Most of our staff uses oats to bake with. While you can buy oat flour, did you know you can also make your own? It’s simple; take a bag of gluten free oats and grind in a food processor until you get a fine powder.

References:

Herbst, Sharon Tyler. Food lover’s companion: comprehensive definitions of over 3000 food, wine, and culinary terms. 3rd ed. New York: Barron’s Educational Series, 1995. Print.

Mateljan, George. The Worlds Healthiest Foods. Seattle: George Mateljan Foundation, 2007. Print.

{Nourished Kids} Hidden Veggies Mac N’ Cheese

It seems that around every corner on the internet there is a recipe about hiding vegetables in the meals that you make for your kids. Although this recipe does hide veggies (an added bonus!), it’s really a way to use your leftovers! We all could use a little inspiration with re-using leftovers and getting healthy vegetables into our kids.

 

 

IMG_4666

 

Hidden Leftover Veggie Mac-n-Cheese

Written By: Stefanie Gates, PreviMedica Culinary Advisor

Makes: 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • `1 cup roasted butternut squash (bonus if it’s leftover from a previous dinner!)
  • 1 cup roasted cauliflower (bonus if it’s leftover from a previous dinner!)
  • 1 tsp. garlic, minced
  • ½ cup chicken broth (unsalted)
  • 2/3-3/4 cup milk (I used whole)
  • 1 cup shredded mild cheddar cheese (you can use any type you’d like)
  • 2-3 tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese (or more if desired)
  • ½ tsp. Himalayan salt
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 2 cups cooked whole grain elbow macaroni

Directions:

  1. In a medium sized saucepan, heat olive oil over medium high heat and add garlic. Saute for one minute.
  2. Stir in cauliflower and butternut squash and heat through. Pour in broth and milk and using an immersion blender, blend until the mixture is smooth.  (You may need to add more broth or milk to thin as needed.  It depends on your taste.)
  3. Heat the puree until you start to see bubbles coming through and it’s heated through. Turn the heat down to low and stir in the cheese.  Stir until it’s melted.  Don’t let the mixture simmer or the cheese will separate.
  4. To finish, stir in the Parmesan cheese and taste. Add the salt as needed.  Mix with pasta.
  5. Serve warm.

IMG_4663

IMG_4670

 


 

Stefanie Gates, chef, is a regular contributor to our blog and culinary advisor for PreviMedica. She enjoys developing recipes and creating cooking videos to share with our readers, as well as working one-on-one with our clients to teach them valuable cooking skills. Her main recipe tester is her 23 month old son.  You can learn more about her here.

 

Previ Culinary: Cranberry and Brussels Sprouts Salad

Brussels sprouts get a bad rap – and we aren’t a fan of plain steamed brussels sprouts either. But when you combine them with cranberries, quinoa, pecans, and a deliciously tart dressing, magic happens. Consider this your new go to side dish for your holiday meals!

 

Cranberry & Brussels Sprouts Salad

Recipe From: www.gimmesomeoven.com

Makes 4-6 servings

Ingredients:

Salad Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. Brussels sprouts, rinsed and ends trimmed, then halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 2/3 cup chopped pecans, toasted

Dressing Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • Pinch of salt and pepper

Directions:

To make the salad:

  1. Toss all ingredients together until combined.

For the dressing:

  1. Whisk all ingredients together until combined.

Cranberry Brussels Sprouts Salad


 

Megan Huard, Chef RD and Stefanie Gates, chef, are regular contributors to our blog and culinary advisors for PreviMedica. They enjoy developing recipes and creating cooking videos to share with our readers, as well as working one-on-one with our clients to teach them valuable cooking skills. You can learn more about them here and here.

 

 

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