Ripe bananas, denoted by their dark yellow skin and spattering of brown spots, are a delicious snack for your pup. In addition to being tasty, bananas low in fat and are jam-packed with vitamins and nutrients.
Leave your bananas on the counter to ripen until the skins are evenly flecked with little brown spots. Peel the ripe bananas and place them into a small bowl. Smash the bananas into a thick paste with a potato masher or a spoon. The mushy bananas may brown a little due to oxygen exposure, but they are still healthy and tasty. Scoop the bananas into a measuring up, until you’ve filled it to the 3/4-cup mark, and transfer them to a larger bowel.
Spread a piece of waxed paper on the counter, and set a sifter on the paper. Add 1 1/2 cups coconut flour to the sifter, and shake it over the mashed bananas. Coconut flour is the perfect substitute for dogs allergic to wheat or those with gluten sensitivities. If you know your dog isn’t allergic to grains, substitute 1/2 cup of flour for whole oats to make a fiber-filled treat. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of flax seed over the flour, and stir it into the bananas with a wooden spoon. Flax seeds are packed with omega-3 fatty acids, which help promote a healthy skin and coat.
Crack an egg into the flour mixture and beat until well-blended. Drizzle a tablespoon of olive oil into the bowl and stir it all together with 1/2 cup of all-natural peanut butter. The mixture should form a stiff, cookielike dough; if it is super sticky, add more flour, a tablespoon at a time, to bring the dough together. If your pup is on a reduced-calorie diet, substitute honey for the olive oil. Refrigerate the dough for at least 30 minutes.
Baking and Storage
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and spray a cookie sheet with a little cooking spray. Pull the dough out of the refrigerator, and scoop tablespoon-size balls onto the cookie sheet. Space them 1 inch apart on the cookie sheet and bake for 15 minutes. The cookies should be golden brown and slightly crunchy. Transfer the hot cookies to a wire baking rack and let them cool for at least an hour before feeding to your waiting pup, or turn the oven off and leave the cookies in it to cool to create cruchier treats. Store the cooled cookies in a zip-top plastic bag, a cookie jar or a plastic storage tub with a locking lid.
Louise Lawson has been a published author and editor for more than 10 years. Lawson specializes in pet and food-related articles, utilizing her 15 years as a sous chef and as a dog breeder, handler and trainer to produce pieces for online and print publications.