Truffles are an irresistible treat for humans, so it's no doubt your dog would like some, too. Unfortunately, confectionery truffles meant for human consumption are made with chocolate, which is highly toxic to dogs, and otherwise filled with sugar, which is not healthy for dogs either. Make healthy, delicious no-bake truffle treats for your canine companion with carob, peanut butter and a few other ingredients.
The filling of a dog-safe truffle treat should be much less sweet than what we humans would consider palatable. Protein-rich ingredients that also boast healthy fats should take center stage in the recipe.
Peanut butter is a healthy treat that dogs love. It is just sweet enough without being overly so and offers a good dose of protein and healthy unsaturated fats, so it makes an excellent filling for a doggie truffle. Try to choose a natural brand that contains no added sugar or corn syrup. If you prefer, you could even make your own by placing roasted peanuts into a food processor for a few minutes.
To help thicken the peanut butter filling, a bit of whole wheat flour is favorable ingredient. The flour contains healthy fiber that will keep your dog's digestive tract in good shape.
For an additional dose of protein and more thickening effect, a small amount of pure, unsweetened whey protein powder or dry powdered milk is a good option to enrich the recipe.
For a bit of indulgent flavor without adding sugars, a bit of pure vanilla extract will make the treat extra delicious for your pup.
Traditionally, truffles meant for humans are covered in chocolate. Unfortunately, chocolate contains a chemical called theobromine that is extremely toxic to dogs. Carob, which is similar in taste and texture to chocolate, is a safe alternative that is suitable for dogs. It contains less sugar than milk chocolate so, in moderation, it makes a tasty, safe treat for your pup. You can melt carob chips like chocolate and create a tasty coating for your truffles that your pooch will love.
In a medium bowl, add 1/2 cup of peanut butter. Using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, combine the peanut butter with 1/3 cup of whole wheat flour. If you are using whey protein powder, add 1/4 cup of the powder into the peanut-butter/flour mixture. If you're using dry powdered milk instead of protein powder, add in 3 tablespoons instead.
For flavor, add in 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract to the filling mix. Mix the ingredients gently until a moist, evenly mixed dough forms. If the dough is two dense or dry, add water 1 teaspoon at a time until it is firm but not sticky.
Form the dough into 1-inch balls (smaller if you have a very small dog) and place them on a cookie sheet either sprayed with nonstick spray or lined with parchment paper.
In a separate microwave-safe bowl, melt 2 cups of carob chips for 30 seconds on high. Stir the chips, then continue to microwave the chips in 10 second increments until they are fully melted. If desired, you can add a half-teaspoon of vegetable shortening to the carob to assure a smooth melt.
Using a toothpick, dunk each truffle ball into the carob and return it to the cookie sheet to dry. If desired, you can drizzle each truffle with additional melted carob or crushed peanuts as a garnish.
Store the truffles in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. They will stay fresh for several weeks. They require no refrigeration. This recipe makes 12 to 15 truffles.
These truffles are not meant to replace your dog's regular food; they are meant to be served as an occasional treat. One truffle per day is a safe bet for dogs of all sizes.
Leeann Teagno has been writing professionally since 2006. An English major, she continues to study information systems management at American Public University. Teagno is an organic gardener, cook and technology buff with past employment in mobile communications. She also volunteers at an animal shelter and operates a home bakery.