Frugal Day 20: Puppy Treats (pt3)

This one is a treat for puppy and me!

I don’t own a dehydrator, but I’m beginning to think I should. My mother has had this system with a wooden spoon in her oven, used to dehydrate food over the course of many back-country camping trips of my youth. She’s been known to dehydrated anything and everything, and surprise campers with her unique (sometimes yucky!) creations.

Generally speaking, the wooden spoon provides enough air circulation to not burn whatever it is she’s drying. With this project, and more in the foreseeable future, I have apparently become my mother!

wooden spoon opening oven door

Food dehydration requires very low temperatures and air circulation – enter the wooden spoon for just enough ventilation.

Today’s dog treats pull from the summer harvest I hived away into the freezer. We’re making fruit leather and it’s easy!

dark red fruit leather

Oven-Dehydrated Fruit Leather

  • 2 cups of strawberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 2 cups other fruit of your choice (apple, berries, mango; over to you -but make sure it’s a dog friendly fruit)
  • (optional) 1-2 tablespoons of honey or agave nectar
  • water, as needed to aid blender
    • Note: if you’re using frozen berries, just let them defrost and you can use berry juice instead of water. Keep in mind it will evaporate out anyway.)

You can easily double or triple this recipe, to get rid of excess fruit. 

there four part process of making fruit leather

  • Place all ingredients in a saucepan and heat until soft, mash with potato masher
  • Allow to cool down, so as not to overheat the blender
  • Pour ingredients into the blender and puree
  • Spread to 1/8″ thick on parchment lined baking sheet
  • Turn oven to it’s lowest setting for 3-5 hours. It’s done when it’s tacky to touch.
  • With sturdy scissors, cut through parchment paper and leather and roll up for easy nibbling. Or, if you’re making them for puppy remove from parchment paper before rolling. 

I’ve found these work great to camouflage puppy pills. It seems, this is something we do regularly in my house. What with this morning puppy snatching and eating the good-sized remainder of a block of cheese I’d been using to hide pills in. Clearly it’s good timing that we make fruit leather as a substitute for cheese.

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