I’m a big fan of coconut in all its forms and incorporate it in many of Kirby and Kenzie’s meals and treats. Once believed to be unhealthy because of its high saturated fat content, we now know that the fat called medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) lead to efficient burning of energy.
Published studies in medical journals show that coconut, in one form or other, provides a wide range of health benefits. Holistic veterinarians recommend daily servings of up to 1 teaspoon per 10 pounds of body.
I wanted to make a treat in the purest form of coconut as possible, and after days in the kitchen, finally concocted a tasty treat my dogs love. This is not a sticky dough so it takes a little more working with it. It may seem your treats will come out crumbly but they actually come out more like a hard shortbread cookie with no crumbs. They also break cleanly for smaller treats. A big factor is the coconut milk brand you choose. I find Thai Kitchen has the thickest cream with the best taste and less water than other brands. Normally I scoop out the cream to use but in this recipe we’re using the entire can.
You can use a vanilla powder or a non-alcohol vanilla extract but it’s been proven the alcohol is baked out from the high heat especially since you are removing all of the moisture. I know it’s been said dogs don’t have a sweet tooth but mine seem to disagree with that.
You can replace the eggs with flaxseed “eggs.” For each egg, place one tablespoon ground flax seed in a small cup, add three tablespoons of warm water and whisk about 5 minutes until it becomes gelatinous.
I have to share the house smelled delicious so a few of us humans tasted them and although we all liked them agreed they could use more vanilla since coconut really isn’t that sweet.
- Yields: 135 – 2 inch treats
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 40 minutes
- 6 Calories each, 3 Calories from fat each
- Total fat: .3g or 1% (0.0g trans fat)
- 2 cups coconut flour
- 2 (13.66 oz.) cans full fat coconut milk
- 2 large eggs or flaxseed “eggs”
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract (optional)
- Open the cans of coconut milk and scoop out the white cream (save the water). Combine with the remaining ingredients. Slowly add the remaining coconut water until your dough is a workable consistency. (With Thai Kitchen I use all the water.) Place in the refrigerator for 15 minutes to let the flour absorb all the fat.
- Using a large handful at a time, lightly knead and roll out the dough on a floured surface. You can add more flour during this process but don’t get it too dry. I like using a piece of wax paper between the dough and roller. Cut out shapes with a cookie cutter and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. They won’t spread when baking so you can place them close together.
- Bake at 325 degrees for 20 minutes, reduce the heat to 200 degrees and bake for another 20 minutes. The tops should feel fairly hard and the bottoms should be slightly brown. Turn off the oven and leave them to harden or finish them in a dehydrator. Check your treats while baking as ovens may vary.
This recipe can be halved but I still use two eggs to bind everything together.
These will keep up to a week in an air tight container or up to 4 months in the freezer – my dogs even like them straight from the freezer so no need to thaw! Storing in the refrigerator can cause them to absorb moisture. There is no preservative so treat them as a baked good watching for mold.
Remember these are treats and should be fed accordingly. Always check with your veterinarian before introducing new foods to your dog, especially if they have any underlying health issues.
Debby Martin is the dog nutrition blogger behind The Canine Chef Cookbook , a website filled with easy to make recipes and canine nutrition, who has published her cookbook of the same name. She is pawrent to Kirby the Dorkie who inspired her to begin researching the healthiest nutrition for his body to ensure a long, vibrant life. She considers herself a perpetual student of canine nutrition.
She graduated with a paralegal degree with a business administration minor and currently works as an office manager for a small business.
After fostering thirteen dogs, Debby decided her dog needed a permanent dog so they adopted Kenzie, also a Dorkie, from a rescue. When she isn’t in the kitchen, she enjoys bible journaling, spending time with her grandchildren, road trips, and snuggling with her dogs in front of a good movie while Kirby loves swimming and road trips.