Spent grain? Huh? Homemade dog treats? Explain…
My husband is a hobby brewer (beer) and last weekend was a Brewing Weekend. I’m not going to pretend to understand it all (I’m only really interested in the final product), but during the brewing process (which looks a lot like the “double, double, toil and trouble” witches-around-a-cauldron scene from Shakespeare’s Macbeth), he winds up with some soggy “spent” grains. In the past, he’s thrown them in the yard (don’t get me started…) and we’ve noticed that the dogs love to eat the spent grain. Here’s what spent grain looks like:
Because I was home and not working (for once) on a weekend, I got a bee in my bonnet and decided to make spent grain homemade dog treats.
I surfed around a bit (thanks, Google) and found a great recipe on Deschutes Brewing (great beer, btw). You gotta love a brewery who takes the time to add a dog treat recipe to their website. Anyway, it’s about as simple as it gets — four basic ingredients: peanut butter, eggs, spent grain, and flour.
You just mix it all together with your hands (always fun to roll up my sleeves and get right into the mix with my hands), roll it out, and then use whatever cookie cutters you have. I used hearts (it was just Valentines Day, y’know), dog bones, and of course a Labrador!
Those are the raw cookies. Wanna hear a secret? I tasted the dough. Raw. With eggs. And I didn’t get salmonella. I know, I know. It can happen. I live life on the edge. I’m a risk-taker like that.
That cookie dough wasn’t bad. If I was really going to dig in, I’d need some sugar, but the dogs don’t have the same sweet tooth we humans do so they’re just fine without it.
So those are the finished spent grain homemade dog treats! The dogs said they loved them. SOMEONE ate half a plate from the counter. There are only two dogs who can actually reach that high [::cough Nemo:: ::cough Schooner::], but there isn’t any incriminating evidence upon which to convict. So I guess they’re all innocent. Yeah, right.
Spent grain, by the way, can be acquired fairly easily if you live near a brewery or if you know some home brewers. Do not give the dogs hops in any form — that’s a big ol’ no-no.