…Straight from the Farmer’s Market
It’s hot, hot, hot out there. And our local farmers’ markets here in the Nashville area are overflowing with an abundance of good things to eat. Why not stop by and choose some lovely summer produce to make three frozen treats for your dog?
I don’t know about you, but I love to browse Nashville Farmers’ Market. I feel healthy just walking through all the stalls of locally grown fruits and vegetables. So many good things to choose from.
Probably like you, too, I’m always wanting to share whatever I have with Chloe. Problem is, the things we like to eat are not always the healthiest for our dogs. So as I was choosing my produce and wishing I had an ice-cold smoothie to help cool me off, I decided to see what fruits and veggies might make a perfect frozen treat for my girl.
Here’s what I came up with… and we’re sharing these three frozen treats with YOU.
Another great thing about these frozen treats? You can enjoy them, too! Float a couple Peach/Kiwi or Watermelon treats in a tall glass of water for a subtle flavor enhancement. Or add a few cubes of Mint Yogurt Treats in your own smoothie for extra nutrition.
So let’s talk dog nutrition – very simply – for a moment. Our dogs may be on the carnivore scale, but if they are only eating meat or only eating kibble, they are missing out on a wide variety of essential nutrients. Feeding them a variety of vegetable and fruits in small quantities will benefit their health in many ways.
Now, these three frozen treats for your dog are NOT part of your dog’s regular diet. They are treats made from some really good stuff that your dog will love. But just like human snacks, they are for occasional feeding or a pick-me-up for a thirsty dog. I know, it’s hard to say “Only two for now…” when those sad puppy dog eyes are begging for more.
I am NOT a licensed pet nutritionist – so if your dog has any medical conditions or challenges, or you have any doubts whether the ingredients are right for your dog, please talk with your veterinarian before feeding these.
You’ll need a blender and some fun silicone molds. You might remember our bunny molds we used for our Easter treats. The possibilities are endless when it comes to molds – choose whatever you like best.
Summery Peach/Kiwi Frozen Treats
These little gems take full advantage of the juicy goodness of Georgia peaches. If you live here in Nashville, stopping at The Peach Truck and bringing home a sack of ripe peaches is something I know you’ve done. Peaches are filled with vitamin A and lots of fiber. And sweetness. Which is why peaches need to be fed to your dog sparingly.
Can your share a slice of fresh peach with your dog? Absolutely. Just be sure you are feeding only peeled and sliced peaches. The peach stone (pit) contains a cyanide compound called amygdalin that is toxic to dogs in large quantities.
Kiwis may not be native to the states (they originate from China) but they are always available in most produce sections. Peeled and sliced, they are abundant in vitamin C and potassium.
And coconut water, which is the clear liquid found inside young coconuts, is a great electrolyte. For a hot, thirsty pup who’s been playing outside in the sun, it’s a perfect way to rehydrate. There are several different brands of coconut water you’ll find in the natural section of your grocery store. Be certain to get only unsweetened coconut water, without added flavors.
You can easily half this recipe if needed.
- 1 c. peeled and chopped peaches
- 1 c. peeled and chopped kiwi
- 1 ½ c. unsweetened coconut water
Place fruit and coconut water in a blender and puree until smooth. Place silicone mold on baking sheet or other flat container. Carefully pour mixture into molds. Place baking sheet in freezer until treats are frozen. Unmold and store in freezer bag.
Perfect for rehydrating a hot and tired pup! Your local Farmers’ Market will have lots of watermelons this time of year. Who doesn’t love a juicy slice of melon? It’s full of vitamins A and C, potassium, low in calories and about 92% water. ‘Cause it’s a watermelon.
Combined with coconut water, it’s a can’t-miss way to rehydrate!
Just so you know, seedless watermelons DO have seeds. But they are soft, white and edible.
Again, you can half this recipe easily.
- 1 small seedless watermelon, chopped (do not use the rind) (did I actually have to say that?)
- 1 c. coconut water
Place watermelon in blender. I would say blend… but you’re going to end up with pink water instead of puree. Add the coconut water and pulse to mix together. This mixture will be pretty much all liquid – so make sure you have your silicone molds on a baking sheet before you pour! Place in freezer until solid. Unmold and store in freezer.
Greek Mint Yogurt Frozen Smoothie Treats
You might have some mint or parsley growing in your own garden. And most dogs love to snack on them.
Mint and parsley are well-known for their ability to freshen breath. But they have also been used for centuries as digestive aids. Peppermint is high in vitamins A and C and trace minerals. Parsley has vitamins A, C and K – plus is high in iron. Both of these herbs are packed with nutrition – and they have antiviral, antimicrobial, antibacterial and antifungal properties!
Plain Greek yogurt is tolerated well by most dogs and its probiotics can aid in digestion. You can try unsweetened kefir (fermented goat’s milk) in its place if your dog does not do well with yogurt.
Raw, local honey has so many amazing properties. Your local Farmers’ Market should have some available. It has “research-proven antibacterial/antimicrobial properties, can calm allergic reactions, and will soothe irritated skin and throats.” (WholeDog Journal, June 24, 2019)
Feel free to half the recipe.
- 1 c. Greek yogurt or kefir, plain and unsweetened
- 1 Tbsp. raw honey
- ½ c. mint leaves
- ½ c. parsley
Place all ingredients in blender, just like making a smoothie. This is one you can experiment with amounts to get the consistency you prefer. If it is not blending well, add a tablespoon of coconut water to the mix. You don’t have to puree the leaves – small pieces are just fine. Spoon into silicone molds and freeze until solid.
Grab your reusable produce bag and hop on over to your local Farmers’ Market. Your dog will love you for this one!