Happy Spring!!! Today is the first day of spring and it’s a great opportunity to try a fresh, delicious, detoxifying spring treat you can share with your dogs and cats!
Fresh Herbs: MY FAVORITE!
If you haven’t tried incorporating fresh herbs yet in your pets’ meals yet, spring is a wonderful time of year to try adding some fresh herbs in their diet!
Did you know herbs are not only tasty, and enjoyed by most dogs and cats, but also some of the most nutrient dense foods you can offer your companions (and enjoy yourself)?
One the the easiest and tastiest ways to add a bit of fresh herbs to your dog/cat’s diet is to make a home-made pesto that you can drizzle over meals — yours and theirs!
If you are unsure if your animal will enjoy the strong flavor of fresh pesto, it may be a good idea to try offering it alone first before adding to their meals, or mix some of the pesto into something they really love. For dogs, this may be fish/seafood or Green Tripe. For cats, they may enjoy their pesto is teeny amounts; added to a dab of butter or lard/duck fat with a sprinkling of nutritional yeast or drop of two of tamari. YUM!
- 1 cup organic parsley or cilantro leaves
- 1 cup organic basil leaves
- 1 tablespoon organic mint leaves (cats may prefer fresh catnip leaves – yes, you and your dogs can eat this, too!)
- 1 tablespoon organic oregano leaves
- 2 tablespoons organic raw tahini (you can use different seeds or nuts for this, but we think tahini adds the best flavor – avoid using macadamias or walnuts, which are both toxic to pets!)
- 1 tablespoon organic lemon juice (freshly squeezed)
- 1 tablespoon organic extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 clove organic fresh garlic
- 1/8 teaspoon/pinch of Himalayan pink salt
- Freshly ground organic black pepper, to taste
Get creative and try other herbs, if you’d like – for example, dill is another nice herb most pets enjoy. Do not use onions, chives, leeks — these are all toxic to dogs and cats.
Your dog/cat will let you know if they want more or less. Trust their judgement — animals are amazing herbalists!
Your pet can have a little bit of this tasty treat every day; you can enjoy as much as you like, too!
Serving Suggestion: Use a little pesto or plain tahini and a bit of pesto in a Nori sheet — just remember that cucumbers, carrots and other veggies need to be cooked/steamed or very thinly grated for safe feeding to your dog/cat — they can’t easily digest vegetables. I don’t recommend using peppers or tomato. Celery, avocado, cucumber, carrot, cauliflower, cabbage are all OK. Sprouts are an awesome addition! Or try mint with a bit of mango (peeled, ripe/mashed), teeny bit of sliced dates or dried figs, and avocado — delicious!
Additional Serving Suggestions: If you have organic avocados and organic pastured eggs, you can also use this pesto to top a delicious dish off with (see below for the recipe) – it’s another great meal that you can share with your animals as a treat.
Of, if you have picked up some delicious organic quail eggs and some nice, lean pastured red meat (beef, elk, venison) from SFRAW, you can make some steak tartare to share and this pesto would make a nice accompaniment.
Easy Baked Avocado Stuffed With Egg
- 1 organic avocado, halved and pitted; peeled (do not feed the pit or peel to your pet — these are the dangerous bits of an avocado — otherwise, they are perfectly safe and healthy to feed dogs & cats — just not OK for birds!)
- 1 tsp organic extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 organic pastured eggs
- 1 small handful of chopped organic fresh parsley or dill, chopped
- A shake of organic ground sweet paprika, turmeric or cumin powder (yes, dogs and cats can have this, too!)
- Himalayan pink salt and organic freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Preheat the oven to 425F.
- Brush or drizzle the avocado halves in olive oil and crack the eggs into each hole.
- Place the egg-filled avocado halves onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper.
- Bake the avocado halves for about 20-25 minutes, or until the eggs are cooked.
- Take out the avocado halves and sprinkle with freshly chopped herbs, spices, salt and pepper.
- Allow to cool first before serving to your pet. Alternatively, your pet can eat this raw and not baked — if they prefer it this way! Just be sure to remove the peel — the peel is not safe for your dog or cat to eat!
- How much can they have? one 50-lb dog can eat 1/4 of one avocado with egg (1/2 of one half); an averaged sized adult cat can eat 1/8 (1/4 of one half) of the avocado/egg.
10 ounces high quality, truly pastured red meat; very lean (beef, elk, venison – elk or venison must be frozen before eating raw), hand cut into ¹/8-inch dice
3-4 organic quail eggs, beaten (quail eggs are safe to eat raw — they are traditionally used in tartare because they do not present the risk for salmonella!)
1 organic anchovy fillet, chopped
1 tsp organic capers or 1 gherkin, rinsed and chopped finely
1 teaspoon fresh organic lemon juice
½ tsp organic wheat-free tamari sauce (optional)
4 additional quail eggs, sliced open with quail egg scissors (yes, we sell these at SFRAW!)
Microgreens for side garnish (optional)
Organic extra virgin olive oil (drizzle over, at serving)
Fresh pesto — on the side, for dipping (see above)
- Defrost and hand-chop the meat. Trim off any fat, then thinly slice the meat first. Cut each slice into matchsticks, then cut across into small cubes.
- Crack 3-4 quail eggs (discard of shells or give to your pet to eat), whip with the chopped anchovy, gherkin/capers, lemon juice, tamari, salt and pepper until well mixed. Delicately add chopped meat and mix very lightly; just enough to combine and coat the meat with these blended ingredients. DO NOT OVERMIX. Refrigerate for one hour.
- Shape the meat into two round patties, using a chef’s ring if you have one, and place on serving plates. Top with a quail egg, sea salt and pepper. Snip off one tablespoon of microcress/rinsed & dried sprouts and scatter around, drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil and serve with a side of the pesto and sliced cucumbers, turnips, raw seeded crackers (make sure they are grain and onion-free) or baked or dehydrated, thinly sliced, organic peeled potato (Japanese Sweet Potato works nicely for this).
- How much can they have? one 50-lb dog can eat up to 8-10 oz; an averaged sized adult cat can eat 2 TBS.
So long as your pet is healthy, they can share healthy food with you. Fast foods, fried foods, junk, packaged and processed foods are not good for you or your animals – please do not eat them or share these with your animals.
However, wholesome, fresh, whole foods that are organic, healthy, not too high in fat (be careful of overdoing it with rich foods), low in sodium, and include 100% pet safe ingredients are not only A-OK to share with your furry family members, but this is precisely how we ALL prepared meals for our companion animals for — well, since forever! – well before there was ever a pet food industry telling us not to!
Sharing food with your beloved animal family members is a wonderful way to bond with them and to make meals times more fun and enjoyable — the love that goes into making yummy treats for them is good for their overall health and wellness. These foods and sharing meals is also good for you! 🙂
When sharing meals, just be sure you know which foods are safe for dogs & cats to eat (my next blog post will review this topic for raw feeders/fresh food feeders — many lists that you find online are inaccurate, at best!)
Also, please understand that the above recipes I’ve shared here are in no way “complete and balanced” for everyday feeding. That being said, you can certainly add a bit of the above pesto to their daily meals without concern for harming your pet. You can share these snacks with your dogs or cats a few times a week. Also, these treats do “count” as “food” nutritionally — so, if they get a significant amount and not just a bite or two, these treats/meals should be fed in place of their usual meals (and can be done without concern over creating a serious imbalance in their diet, on occasion).