Pesto Puppers

I have an herb garden and I always know what to do with all that basil.  Maybe it’s because I’m half Italian or maybe it’s just because I love the flavors.  I love pesto on pasta, salads, pizza, fish, you name it, pesto can make it better!  Have you ever had a grilled pesto cheese sandwich? Divine!  Pesto is super easy to make and it’s packed with health benefits like heart-healthy mono-unsaturated fatty acids, iron, and vitamin C.

The other night I was starving for a snack and all I could come up with was smearing some pesto on wheat thins. Turns out I really enjoyed that snack as did Kirby which got me to thinking about a pesto dog treat. Kirby likes savory flavors, it would be healthy, and yes my mind does always lead back to dog treats.

Pesto Puppers

Pesto Puppers

An easy and savory dog treat.

Yields: 38 - 2” rounds
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes

Nutrition facts: 34 calories, 6 from fat

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups oat flour
  • 1 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/2 cup greek yogurt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons basil pesto*
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Instructions:

  1. In a large bowl thoroughly mix together all of the ingredients.
  2. Place bowl in the refrigerator for about fifteen minutes to chill.
  3. Roll out the dough to 1/2 inch thick and cut out shapes with a cookie cutter or biscuit cutter.
  4. Place on parchment lined baking sheet and bake at 375 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes or until edges brown. At this point the outside is crispy while the inside is still soft. You can turn off the oven and leave them in for about an hour to harden.
  5. Remove and place on cooling rack.

I tasted these and they aren't that bad. I'm thinking adding more pesto and rolling the dough very thin would make some yummy crackers. I'll let you know!

These are crispy on the outside but soft on the inside so treat as any bakery product.  The can be frozen for up to three months.

Pesto

Pesto Ingredients

  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

Instructions

  1. Finely chop the garlic and place in the food processor.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients except for the olive oil and blend.
  3. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil while the machine is running to create an emulsion.

This is my basic recipe which is really called pistou due to the lack of nuts. Get creative to find the perfect flavors for your own pesto.  Swap out the basil with spinach or parsley. I've tried it with cilantro and didn't like the flavor but many do so it is an option. Replace the parmesan cheese with pecorino, romano or feta cheese. A lot of people add pine nuts or walnuts but I’m leery of them being dog friendly so I stopped using them a long time ago and I really don’t miss them. You could add 1/4 cup almonds or sunflower seeds. This recipe makes 1/2 cup. One tablespoon contains 79 calories of which 71 calories are from fat.

The pesto will keep in the refrigerator up to two weeks. You can freeze it in small freezer safe containers, use ice cube trays or a cookie scoop to make small balls by placing on a parchment lined baking sheet and freezing. Once frozen put the balls in a ziplock bag.It can be stored in the freezer for up to 4 months. If it becomes too dry, add a smidgen of olive oil.

Pesto Puppers 1
Pesto Puppers 2