Ripe bananas, which mostly are flecked with plenty of brown spots, make a nutritious and delicious addition to homemade treats for your canine buddy. Bananas are loaded with healthy minerals and vitamins, like potassium, manganese, vitamin B6 and vitamin C, and they are naturally low in fat. Preparing homemade treats for your pooch that include ripe bananas as a component takes only a few minutes and some very basic ingredients.
Begin by mashing a large, peeled, ripe banana in a bowl with either a potato masher or a fork. Mash it until it is smooth, like baby food. The mashed bananas may turn brown, but this is normal and does not affect flavor or quality.
Measure the mashed banana into a measuring cup until you reach 2/3 cup, then place the banana in a large bowl.
To the banana, add one egg, 1/4 cup of smooth or chunky-style peanut butter, one tablespoon of olive oil and one tablespoon of all-natural honey for sweetening. One large egg adds 6 grams of healthy protein to the treats, while the peanut butter and olive oil add healthy unsaturated fats.
Mix the wet ingredients together using a spatula or wooden spoon until they're all well blended and smooth.
To the wet ingredients, add 3/4 cup of whole wheat flour, which is higher in fiber than traditional white flour. Fiber is good for your dog's digestive system.
Next add in 3/4 cup of plain rolled oats and two tablespoons of ground flax seed. The oats and flax seeds provide ample fiber, but the flax seed adds the benefit of healthy omega-3 fats.
Blend all of the ingredients together into a thick chocolate chip cookie-like dough using an electric mixer or wooden spoon
Preparation and Serving
While you prepare the treats for baking, heat the oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a large cookie sheet.
Roll 1-inch balls of dough between your hands and set them onto the pan about 1 inch apart from one another. If your dog is very small, the treats can be made smaller.
Press each treat down into a disk that is about 1/4 inch thick, like small cookies, using the back of a lightly greased spoon. Bake the cookies at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes or until the edges begin to turn golden brown. Allow the treats to cool on the pan for a few minutes as they will be fragile when they are hot. Once the treats are slightly cooled, remove them to a cooling rack and allow them to cool completely.
Store the treats in an airtight bag or container at room temperature for about one week. Alternatively, the treats may be frozen for up to three months. Remove frozen treats as necessary, allowing them 30 minutes to thaw before serving them to your pup.
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.