Unfortunately, I am not at work today and instead find myself in bed sick. I have a horrible sinus infection and fever. Milly has been a very sweet and loving nurse to me today, but I can tell she wants a little more pleasure than I am able to give her in my current state (think: no belly rubs or fetch).
The weather today is stunning—the cherry blossoms are in bloom, the sun is shining and it is warm enough for only a long sleeve shirt or light jacket, but cool enough that the heat is not over bearing. On days like today I would love to go for a hike down my favorite trail that leads to the Potomac River with Milly, but instead the box of Kleenex and antibiotics have won this battle, and I find myself feeling pretty miserable watching Animal Planet and sleeping.
I was able to indulge Milly a little though with a doggie ice cream. I like to keep my freezer stocked with home made frosty treats for her, and on days like today when I don’t even have enough energy to make myself a can of soup, being able to simply open the freezer and pull out a doggie ice cream that will keep Milly happily amused for about 30 minutes is great.
Unlike the grocery store varieties such as Frosty Paws the kind of frozen dog treat I make is all natural and low fat. I use Stony Fields non-fat yogurt in Vanilla or Plain as the base. I pour the yogurt into a mixing bowl and add one part water for three parts yogurt and a tiny bit of honey - usually 1 teaspoon for every 4 cups of base I’ve made - and mix. I then add the flavoring: peanut butter, banana or carob chips. Carob is similar to chocolate, but safe for dogs and can be found at health food stores, natural grocery stores such as Whole Foods and sometimes at Trader Joes. If I am using banana I like to let the banana mature until it has lots of black spots on the outside, and I simply mush the banana into the base and stir until I have a fairly smooth consistency (there will usually be some chunks)—for four cups of base I will use 1 to 2 bananas. If I am using peanut butter I usually add 1 to 2 tablespoon of peanut butter per cup of base, and stir until smooth – sometimes with peanut butter you will need to add a dash more water. If I am using carob chips it is 1 cup of carob for four cups of base. You can mix all ingredients into one super ice cream, or pick one or two. Or, simply use the base. I use small plastic containers or small Tupperware containers to freeze and serve the ice cream in. This way I can wash and reuse the containers. All you do is just pour your mixture into containers making sure you use containers that your dog will not a) eat b) get his snout stuck in and freeze over night. The ice creams keep frozen for months. Tip: when serving the ice cream put the ice cream in a ceramic or heavy dog food bowl, this prevents it from moving a lot while your dog licks it.
HAPPY FROZEN TREAT MAKING!