dog food; baking kibble 

So I have to make food for one of my dogs because he has dietary restrictions, and today I actually had a successful kitchen experiment! The food has a decent amount of rice and lentils in it, so I figured I'd try to bake his food recipe into kibble instead of the free-form sticky kind of paste it normally becomes. The idea arose because that paste ends up leaving residue in his teeth that make his breath stink terribly because there's essentially days-old food stuck in there going bad! I've had to start regularly brushing his teeth to help him not have to suffer the feeling of rotting food in his mouth (and to save his teeth).

So instead of cooking the components separately and combining them, I looked up how to make rice flour. Once I learned that it was literally just ground up raw rice, I threw the raw rice and lentils into my Vitamix dry ingredients grinder and had my flour in about a minute! Then I realized I could probably do the same thing with the frozen peas and carrots, so I threw those in the regular Vitamix pitcher and I was right!

So I had my mostly dry ingredients, and I thought hey, cakes and other baked things like that have egg in them, right? I'll just use the egg that I'd normally hard boil as the binding for the flour! And the oil I top the food with can go in the batter too! Finally, I just threw in the raw ground turkey, mixed it all up as much as I could in my stand mixer, and I ended up with some really sticky batter.

I had preheated the oven to 350℉ and for my first test batch, I just spread the batter on a greased quarter baking sheet and broke the resulting sheet of stuff into pieces. But I actually did teaspoon-sized scoops for the second batch, which took longer and were bigger than I wanted for kibbles, but they were much more in the direction I wanted to go! Next time I'll probably combine the strategies and spread it flat on the baking sheet before going through with a flexible tool to split it into strips and separate it into kibbles from there... it should work how I'm thinking of it.

So anyway, I just wanted to brag about how I figured out how to take the ingredients for my dog's food and transform it into something completely different that took much less time to prepare than before with much cooler results! I'm mostly just happy I was able to pull it off at all, and I'm even happier because it's a better and faster solution for a chore that took way too long before!

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