It’s February, the month of love and our sweet Kenzie’s first birthday so I’m thinking pink. I have a few treats I want to make pink so I need a food colorant. Most commercial brands contain carcinogenic ingredients which is a big no for both humans and dogs. There are safe beetroot powders you can purchase on Amazon if you just want to get to the coloring part..
A safer and cheaper alternative is to make my own so for pink, I turn to red beets. Beetroot powder eventually turns brown when exposed to air so I always start by making beetroot chips first which I store in a mason jar in the pantry. The dogs love them and I love the nutrition they provide. Do remember these are treats so feed sparingly!
When I need some powder I can grind up just the amount I need when I need it. I can have fresh beetroot powder available for any of my recipes kinda like having my cake and eating it too!
Beets are messy and can stain so preparation is required. Cover your work place – I usually spread out a plastic grocery bag on the counter and work with my beets on top of it. When I’m done, I can just roll up the bag and toss it. Line your dehydrator trays with saran wrap (The good stuff won’t melt), and rinse your utensils as you go.
A fresh bundle of beetroots
1. Cut off the leaf stalks leaving about two inches still attached to the beet. You’ll hold the beet by this stem while peeling and cutting.
2. Scrub the beets under cool running water to remove all the dirt and debris.
3. Peel off all of the skin.
4. Slice very thin pieces. I prefer my ceramic knife but you can use a mandolin slicer. I've got my eye on this electric one that won't let me lose a finger or two!
5. Cover the dehydrator trays with plastic wrap. Spread the slices in a single layer leaving room for the air to circulate.
6. Let dehydrate until crispy dry. I leave mine on over night so a good 8 hours.
7. Store in a mason jar in a cool, dark place.
You can also dehydrate in the oven at the lowest temperature setting. Keep a close eye on hem towards the end to keep from burning.
1. Grind the dried beet chips. I use an electric coffee grinder labeled specifically for the dogs so there is no chance of anything toxic such as coffee or chocolate contamination.
2. Strain through a fine mesh sieve to remove large pieces which you can re-grind.
2. Store in a glass jar in a cool, dark place.
You can use as much as you need to color treats anywhere from pink to dark red. It imparts a sweet flavor with many benefits.
1. Leave the fresh beets whole and unpeeled. Trim the stems to 1 inch.
2. Wrap in aluminum foil and roast in the oven at 400 degrees for about one hour (they're done when they can be pierced with the tip of a sharp knife).
3. Peel and blend in a food processor or blender for about 2 minutes.
Store in a mason jar in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days and in the freezer for 10 to 12 months.