A couple of months ago, I was looking for a healthy treat recipe for my pups and I ran into Melissa's recipes. She has so many delicious ones to choose from but I chose to make the Veggie Frittata. Let's just say the pups ate it so quick that I don't think they had the opportunity to savor it like I would have..haha
That night I decided to contact Melissa to see if she was interested in sharing with us what inspires her to make these delicious recipes for our pups and to tell us more about her cookbook. Check out the interview we did with Melissa, Chef and Founder of Proud Dog Mom. If you have any comments please feel free to comment below!
C+P: What inspired you to create recipes for dogs?
Melissa: From the time I was a little girl, I've always had dogs in my life (at one point during my childhood, we had six poodles). While we viewed our canine companions as close family members, they ate commercial treats and store-bought dog food. And we didn't think anything of it. That is, until my family experienced a few health scares. About a decade ago, my mom's toy poodle experienced intestinal bleeding from rawhide bones. A few years later, a close family member's dog developed a long-term kidney disorder as a direct result of munching on tainted commercial treats. So, when I brought my two fur babies home, I became very interested in dog nutrition. As a former news reporter, I guess you can say I redirected my curious nature from local crime to dog food! Today, I make 100% of my dogs' treats, and most of their meals are also homemade. I will say—it's a rewarding feeling to see them enjoy a meal or snack that I spent the time to cook!
C+P: Do your pups get to try out all the delicious recipes you make?
Melissa: Absolutely! My two dogs had a very important job when I was creating my dog treat cookbook, Proud Dog Chef: Tail-Wagging Good Treat Recipes—they were my taste testers! Every recipe in the book, and also on my blog, have been approved by my little Diego and Gigi.
C+P: What’s your pup’s favorite recipe?
Melissa: There are so many! I try to keep a collection of homemade biscuits, jerky, and veggie chips in the fridge at all times so they have variety. But they are currently going crazy over my all-natural chicken jerky, mini salmon burgers, coconut kale chips, and grain-free Buckwheat Bones (which are filled with banana and peanut butter .. yummm).
C+P: Are these recipes easy to make?
Melissa: I always strive to make my recipes easy. Some are easier than others. For example, frozen treats are simpler than biscuits because they're really just pureed fruits, yogurt, and other semi-liquid ingredients mixed together and popped into a mold. It's the same with jerky and chips—just thinly slice your ingredient and lay it on a baking sheet to dehydrate in the oven. While my biscuits take a tad more prep—because you have to knead the dough and stamp out your shapes—they're still totally doable for someone who doesn't consider themselves a culinary expert!
C+P: What recipe are you going to share with us and why did you choose this one?
Melissa: I'm sharing my Banana Bread Soft Chews. It's one of my most popular recipes because unlike most of my other biscuit recipes—which create a crunchy snack for your canine companion—these soft chew dog treats are … well … soft on the inside. Once baked, they have more of a bread or cake-like texture. Since they don’t require any real jaw power to chomp through, they’re perfect for both baby and senior Fido … and every age in between!
1/2 cup coconut flour
1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
1/2 cup 100% pure pumpkin purée
1 mashed banana
1 tablespoon coconut oil
Preheat oven to 350ºF and line a small baking sheet (9x13”) with parchment paper. Set aside. In a small mixing bowl, add coconut flour and ground flaxseeds. Whisk together. In a separate bowl, mix together pumpkin purée, eggs, mashed banana, and coconut oil. Add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Mix together with a spoon until thoroughly combined and consistency reaches a thick batter. Spoon your thick batter mixture onto the baking sheet, creating an even layer approximately 1/4” thick. Let mixture set for approximately 5 minutes.
Once on baking sheet, use a knife to score both horizontal and vertical lines, creating little squares. Bake for 35 minutes. Remove from oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool. Once completely cooled, break or cut treats along the scored lines. You will be left with little square treats.
What I love mostly about Melissa's recipes is they’re really healthy recipes for dogs and that is something I always look for when I make treats for my pups. If your pups loves the recipes that Melissa has shared with us, make sure to grab her cookbook at Amazon!
Bon Appétit Puppers!
More about Proud Dog Mom at www.prouddogmom.com
Peace & Love,