Over the past 3 years I’ve had the pleasure of owning five wonderful rats. Three of my babies sadly passed on, but I smile when I remember their silly antics and loving kisses. With owning these wonderful creatures you can’t help but want to shower them with treats and goodies.
I’ve found with store bought treats they contained useless fillers, such as corn and peanuts, which are high in fat. So I’ve decided to go on a quest to find recipes for healthy treats.
First I learned how to make basic dough. I use what flour I have on hand, which is all purpose flour. I suggest trying a healthier type such as wheat or rice. With the flour, I then need something to bind it with. In this case I used baby food. Mix the baby food and flour till you have dough. If it is sticky then add a little more flour.
If you are interested in adding any special morsels to your mix, do it in the baby food first then add flour to that. You can add bits of dried fruit, seeds, crushed nuts, or yogurt drops. Once you get your dough all set you can flatten it out and cut shapes from it.
Cooking time depends on how thick your treats are. You should set your oven to 300*F (or 150*C). Keep your treats on a cookie sheet and let them bake in the oven. Since there isn’t much in the dough that needs to be cooked (like eggs in regular baking), you just want the treat to dry out. I’d wait a few hours to be sure that things are cooked thoroughly, you can check by breaking one open, if it’s soft in the middle it needs more baking.
Now, what I’ve done in the past was make both a ‘cookie’ and a ‘peanut brittle’ type treat. The cookie is made as describe above. The ‘peanut brittle’ type treat was made with less flour. I used just enough flour to hold it together. It was fairly sticky. This can be a good thing for keeping nuts and seeds in place. I went ahead and baked it till it was dry, broke into pieces, and viola.
A few things to keep in mind, a cup of flour and a jar of baby food will make A LOT of treats. Also when cutting your shapes out, make them small, since you’re not feeding a large animal these treats, they will take longer to go through. Maybe consider making a batch of treats for your friend’s rats, or for a rescue. Keep them sealed in an air tight container for freshness. If your dough is not cooked all the way through then keep it sealed in the refrigerator. Also if you something perishable in your mix, such as fresh fruit, keep refrigerated.
So have fun and enjoy making these treats for your furry friends! Since it is a basic dough recipe and this guide suggests using only human grade edible items, I’d imagine that these treats could be used for other animals, such as hamsters, and maybe even dogs. Keep in mind, to always research your food items you’re interested in adding to your mix, some may not be safe for pets!