Spring has sprung, and no one is happier than my pups. They aren’t huge fans of dreary weather — Angie pretty much refuses to go out in the rain — so the longer days, sunny skies, and walks among the flowers have them in particularly good moods.
The weather has been so nice, we were able to take the whole family to the beach.
But besides frolicking in the sun and riding in the car, most of Kira and Angie’s favorite things are edible. It would be unfair to say that they have a favorite food, as they are equal-opportunity gastrophiles with the widest of palates, but there are two ingredients that they seem especially obsessed with: carrots and peanut butter.
It would be easy to smear some peanut butter on a carrot stick and call it a day, but my goal here with Dog Treat of the Month isn’t to just come up with treats that dogs want to eat. That would be too easy. Dogs will eat pretty much anything. The goal here is to create a treat that Kira and Angie will devour with abandon that is also appealing to myself (and other pet parents) in a visual sense.
I don’t know about you, but once March hits and Easter candy fills the aisles, I find myself drawn to candies and cakes in lighter, brighter colors. Though I usually shun white chocolate, after daylight saving time it suddenly becomes appealing. Bright white and pastel delights such as cream cheese-coated carrot cakes also call to me, and I see no reason why my pups shouldn’t be offered something similar.
Obviously, Kira and Angie aren’t allowed to have classic carrot cake. Besides being too high in sugar and fat (lookin’ at you, cream cheese frosting), the raisins alone are bad news. This pooch-friendly version contains all of the goodness of carrots with none of the nonsense. Bonus: There are no raw eggs as ingredients, leaving your pup free to lick the bowl.
Kira’s No-Bake Carrot Cake Balls
For the cake balls:
- 1/2 cup of oat bran
- 1/2 cup of best-quality peanut butter
- 1 cup of shredded carrots, plus more for decorating
For the “icing”:
- 3/4 cup plain, nonfat yogurt
- 2 tablespoons honey
In a medium bowl, combine carrots, oat bran, and peanut butter until a sticky dough forms. Set aside. Mix together yogurt and honey until the mixture is smooth and free from lumps. Dip cake balls into yogurt mixture and place on a drying rack to let excess dip off. Sprinkle a pinch of shredded carrot onto each treat and allow cake balls to dry until yogurt is set. Store in an airtight container for up to a week or freeze.
Once they had a taste of the dough, Kira and Angie had no patience for waiting on the icing to set. Once the almost unbearable setting period had passed, both of my pups were chomping at the bit to try and rate these carrot cake concoctions.
Frankly, this is almost lazy on Claire’s part. Peanut butter and carrots? C’mon. Obviously I’m going to eat these. “Duh” factor aside, though, I would eat these forever and ever. I would rather eat these than my stupid “dog food.” What does “dog food” mean anyway? Isn’t any food “dog food” if I’m eating it? Sorry. I got deep there for a moment.
These remind me of those Valentine’s Day Godiva truffles I stole from Claire that one time, except they aren’t chocolate-flavored and I didn’t have to throw them up. These treats have a delightful cake-y consistency, and I love the little carrot shreds on top. I usually eat carrot shreds off the floor, but this is even better.
Read more Dog Treat Recipes of the Month by Claire Lower:
- Strawberry and Yogurt Valentine’s Day Hearts
- Olive Oil and Flax-Seed Cheese Biscuits
- Minty Carob-Dipped Christmas Cookies
- Kira and Angie’s Thanksgiving Feast Treats
About the author: Claire Lower is a freelance writer who holds a B.S. in chemistry. After seven years of sweating in Florida, she and her husband packed everything up and drove to Oregon with their two dogs and one very well-behaved cat. She now spends most of her time trying to convince her spaniel that walking in the rain can be fun. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram.