…dogs of any age can have them too, of course.
I developed this cookie a few days ago, after seeing a recipe shared around, for “candycane” treats that used wheat flour, a bouillon cube and red food colouring – I mean, none of these are tragic, I dislike overreaction, but I did wonder if I could do something herbal (and tasty..ahem) that might be useful for folks who feel a bit weird about those ingredients.

My attempts to replace red food colouring with elderberry and schisandra powders, yielded a brownish colour that, while nicely immune-supportive for many dogs, really did not look festive…:) I should have known. 🙂

And then, I squeezed an entire pomegranate, much to the chagrin of my parrot Korky (who adores pomegranates and feels every one used in this house should really be for him) but again – alas – the murky brown colour, so a healthy treat ensued,
but not exactly pretty.

At that point it dawned on me that beetroot really was the best idea, but I’m out! so the idea was, just to work up a nice healthy cookie and leave it at that until the beetroot gets here (ordered asap).

And, this is what I came up with.

I find this cookie pretty wonderful, if I say so myself – even if it was by default. I have two seniors, they love these things! and while you won’t get fully therapeutic levels of the herbs, you definitely boost the daily total – rosehips, Ceylon cinnamon, hibiscus and cranberry – so you can offer a gluten free treat your older dogs will both benefit from and enjoy.

Hibiscus supports the cardiovascular system, rosehips boost lycopene and Vitamin C, and offer cooling, anti-inflammatory action so beneficial for dogs with arthritis, Ceylon cinnamon balances the formula with some warming energy,and also supports the digestive tract, and cranberries help prevent urinary tract infection. That’s the short version of all this recipe has to offer!

For these “red cookies”, you will need the following.

1/3 cup dried unsweetened cranberries
1 cup coarse ground almond meal
2 cups brown rice or oatmeal flour(or a mixture of both)
1 large egg
2 Tbsps dried hibiscus
2 Tbsps dried organic rose hips
1 teaspoon organic Ceylon cinnamon
3 Tbsps good quality honey

Take the hibiscus and rosehips, and infuse with one cup boiling water – cover – and infuse about an hour ( the difference between herbal tea and infusion has to do with how long it is stepped, as well as amount of herb. I’m using a lot of herb here to get the beneficial actions up as high as I can).

Beat the one egg with the honey, then strain the (very strong) herbal infusion, and add all the remaining water to the egg/honey mixture. (It’s good to strain for a few minutes and press all that heart-healthy goodness out of the herb). beat well, and then switch to a wooden spoon and add in the flours – a total of three cups (and note that if you use almond meal, as I did, the total fat content will be higher) along with the Ceylon cinnamon. Mix well and add the dried cranberries.

When you have a nice thick batter, line a cookie sheet with parchment and heat the oven to 350 degrees. I used about 2 tsps of batter, rolled into a ball and then flattened with a fork. My yield for this recipe was 16 cookies. Bake at 350 degrees about 20 – 25 minutes – cool and serve!

These cookies (if using 2 cups rice and 1 cup oat flour) and dividing the batch into 16, provide 129 calories, 1.7 grams of fat, 3.5 grams of sugar, 120 mgs of phosphorus,and 100 mgs of potassium per cookie. They are a rich source of lycopene, are anti-inflammatory and energetically balanced, and again, help support multiple systems in the senior dog.
Please enjoy, and share! Season’s greetings to all.