You Should Make Your Dog Their Very Own Pumpkin Loaf

You Should Make Your Dog Their Very Own Pumpkin Loaf
Photo: Amanda Blum

Starbucks pumpkin loaf is a street drug for dogs. At least, it is if you’re my dog — so much so that when my last girl, Lucy, stopped eating in her last days with cancer, I ran around town desperately trying to track it down, doing my best Shirley MacClaine while careening, “she needs her pumpkin loaf!” But I digress.

Clementine the Doberman, my current obsession, would crawl over glass to get her paws on warm pumpkin bread. And while there’s nothing in the real thing that does serious harm, the truth is that between the plastic packaging and the cost, it just makes sense to pull out the mixer and DIY this seasonal treat. It’s also absurdly easy and inexpensive.

See? Now you're obsessed, too.  (Photo: Amanda Blum) See? Now you’re obsessed, too. (Photo: Amanda Blum)

Since they (the dogs) are not going to share, we (the humans) can hack the recipe to make it even healthier for our furry offspring. Step one: Eliminate the pumpkin spice — its the riskiest part of the recipe for dogs. Even though most pumpkin bread doesn’t have enough cinnamon, et al. to do damage, there’s no reason to keep it here. We’re also going to add calcium by keeping the eggshells (check with your vet to make sure your particular dog can handle ‘em), and get rid of the fat and sugar by subbing in applesauce. Then we’re going to add a banana. Why a banana? Clementine the Doberman: “Trust the process.”

How to make homemade pumpkin loaf that’s just for dogs

Photo: Amanda Blum, In-House Art

Photo: Amanda Blum, In-House Art

Mix your dry and wet ingredients.

Photo: Amanda Blum, In-House Art

Photo: Amanda Blum, In-House Art

Pour into greased loaf pan.

Photo: Amanda Blum, In-House Art

Photo: Amanda Blum, In-House Art

Bake 1 hour until toothpick comes out clean.

Photo: Amanda Blum, In-House Art

Photo: Amanda Blum, In-House Art

Allow to cool.

Photo: Amanda Blum, In-House Art

Photo: Amanda Blum, In-House Art

Slice, wrap and freeze.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 4 eggs
  • ¾ cup applesauce
  • 1 banana
  • ¾ cup canned pumpkin (not pie filling, just pumpkin)
  • Coconut oil
  • Combine the flour, baking soda and salt.
  • In a mixer, beat the four eggs and the crushed shells. (Not kidding, just chuck em in there, if you prefer, you can use a stick blender on the eggs and shells first). Add the applesauce, banana and pumpkin and mix until pretty smooth, about 60 seconds.
  • Now add your dry ingredients and mix slowly until incorporated, scraping the bowl to make sure there aren’t any dry ingredients hiding any place.
  • Pour into an oiled loaf pan — I like to oil it with coconut oil — and bake at 180ºC for 60 minutes, until it passed the toothpick test. (Poke a toothpick or skewer into the centre of the loaf and pull it out. If it pulls out clean, it’s done, if it has batter on it, keep cooking.)
  • Let it cool, then slice into inch-thick pieces.

Wrap them up and throw it into the freezer, just like they do at the ‘Buck. The slices defrost in about 30 minutes, and you can nuke them for 20 seconds to get them warm and toasty, which is the preferred presentation of Clementine the Doberman.

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