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Homemade Pumpkin Dog Biscuits and Other Tasty Treats!



Each of these pumpkins weighed right in at a hundred pounds!

Last fall we were blessed with an abundance of pumpkins straight from the pumpkin patch. After the family had our pumpkin carving contest, and the pumpkins sat out as fall decorations, they were stored for later use.



These family members were the finalists!

We fed the huge 100 lb. pumpkins to the goats and chickens – our goat’s favorite part of the pumpkin is the skin.   Our girls know what’s good for them, the pumpkin skin has a ton of vitamins – vitamin E, vitamin A, vitamin B-6, vitamin C, beta-carotene, potassium, iron, magnesium, zinc, phosphorus, and selenium. The skins also contain a lot of fiber which is very important for any ruminant animal’s diet.

 


Getting ready for something tasty!

The pumpkin seeds contain a lot of nutrients as well and are delicious when toasted! The pumpkin flesh is not only tasty, but is also packed with carotenoids, polyphenols and antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. We spent last Sunday roasting the leftover pumpkins.  It was a perfect day for this activity, as the temperature was hovering around zero and it was nice to have the oven on!

 

Marina di Chioggia Pumpkin



Roasting and processing pumpkins is really easy.  The way I do it is to wash the wash the surface of the pumpkin, then cut the pumpkin in half.  I hollow out the inside, saving the seeds for roasting.  Once the pumpkin shell is cleaned out on the inside, I put it cut side down on a rimmed baking sheet (it is best to cover it in foil for easy clean up, although I use silpats to keep it from sticking to the pan). Put it in a 400° oven until it is done, which really depends on the size of the pumpkin.  You can tell if it is cooked when the flesh is soft when pierced with a knife or a cake tester.



 

Pumpkins roasting in the oven

Once the pumpkin is soft, remove it from the oven and let it cool until it is easier to handle.  I find that flipping it over so that the cut side is up helps it cool faster.  I then take a large metal spoon and scrape the flesh out of the skins.  The pulp goes into a large bowl and the skins go into the compost bin.  I use an immersion blender to process the pulp into a smooth consistency.  If there was a lot of liquid that came from roasting your pumpkin, don’t worry, that can be normal (which is why you want a rimmed baking sheet!).  I just discard the liquid into the compost bin to feed the microbes.



Scott scooping out the hot pumpkin flesh

 

If you want to toast the seeds for a wholesome snack, just separate the seeds from the stringy pumpkin goo, rinse them in a colander, let them dry a bit and then toss them with some olive oil.  I spread them on a baking sheet, sprinkle them with coarse salt and roast them in the 400° oven along with the pumpkin flesh.  They don’t take as long to toast up, anywhere from 5 minutes for the small seeds, up to 20 minutes for the big ones.  Watch them carefully so they don’t burn!  You can spice up the seeds with some chili or curry powder, or sprinkle them with cinnamon sugar for a salty-sweet treat!

 

Now you have pumpkin that is ready to bake into pies or make curried pumpkin soup, or bake up into Charlee’s favorite dog biscuits! Since we had so much pumpkin, I measured the pureed pulp into 4 cup portions and froze it.  Four cups of pumpkin puree is the perfect amount for two pumpkin pies, and who would ever want to make less than 2?

 

Here is my recipe for Charlee’s dog biscuits:

 

Ingredients:

4 eggs

1 pint (2 cups) pumpkin puree (you can use a can of pumpkin)

1 cup peanut butter

Flour (about 4 cups or enough to make a stiff dough)

 

Beat the eggs in a large bowl (I use my big Kitchenaid stand mixer for this).  Add the pumpkin and peanut butter and mix well.  Begin adding the flour to the mixture and continue until it makes a very stiff dough.

 

Roll out the dough to about ¼ inch and cut it in whatever shapes your dog likes.  I cut it in inch squares for kennel treats, and I sometimes cut it with cookie cutters (I use a dog bone shape and one that is shaped like a cat) when I give them as gifts to the granddogs or for special occasions.

 

Bake the treats in a 350° oven for 50-60 minutes (you may need to bake longer, depending on how large you make your biscuits). You will need to flip them over about halfway through baking.  The goal is for them to be toasty brown and hard so they will keep without molding. Once the biscuits have cooled, I store mine in an old recycled Christmas cookie tin but you can use any airtight container.


The finished product - not all uniform and not real pretty, but Charlee LOVES them!

That’s all there is to it!  Tasty, wholesome treats for your favorite furry friend. I hope your dogs enjoy them as much as Charlee does!

 

 

 

 

 

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