Christmas Spices – What’s Tasty and Healthy For Our Dogs?

Christmas Spices – What’s Tasty and Healthy For Our Dogs?

Christmas Spices – What’s Tasty and Healthy For Our Dogs?

The scent of vanilla, aniseed, cloves and cinnamon conjures up a Christmas atmosphere in every room, arousing anticipation for the holidays. But are these natural flavours also good for making dog biscuits?

How healthy are vanilla, ginger and cinnamon for our dogs?

Anyone who bakes for their dog should generally refrain from using flavours of chemical origin. Natural flavourings are wonderfully suitable for making dog biscuits for Christmas. We have put together a small overview of what’s yummy and healthy for your dog. At the end you will also find two recipes for delicious and healthy Christmas cookies to guarantee that your furry friend gets into the Christmas mood!

Real vanilla - the expensive classic

Perhaps man’s favorite spice is real vanilla (Vanilla planifolia). Believe it or not, vanilla is a creeper, belongs to the orchid family and is native to Mexico. Vanilla is one of the most expensive spices in the world (only cardamom and saffron are more expensive). This spice was used by the Aztecs long before the Spanish brought it to Europe. Good news: vanilla is perfectly suitable for your dog.

Anise - power for the respiratory system

Anise (Pimpinella anisum) is one of the ancient medicinal and aromatic plants. It is mainly grown in the Mediterranean and belongs to the umbelliferae family. The sweet-smelling plant has small white flowers from which the tiny seeds form. Anise seeds taste and smell spicy, tart and sweet-aromatic and the smell is slightly reminiscent of liquorice. They are used whole or ground, with the crushed grains developing their aroma most intensely in a mortar. Anise is not only a very popular Christmas spice, but also a good food additive for your dog and strengthens the respiratory tract and digestive system.

Ginger - support for the blood circulation

Ginger (Zingiber officinale) has been used for thousands of years to combat various ailments. Its scent is distinctively fresh, the juice that escapes is slightly pungent and burning. The ginger tuber with its aromatic and healing properties was already known among the ancient Romans. This spice is often added to curries, sauces and drinks. Ginger stimulates the digestive juices and the metabolism, it is warming and promotes blood circulation. While it is suitable for dogs, you should make sure to avoid ginger 48 hours before a possible medical procedure as ginger has blood-thinning properties. This spice should not be fed during pregnancy either, because it can induce labour.

Real cinnamon - enormous essential effect

Real cinnamon is one of the oldest spices in the world and should not be missing in any Christmas bakery. However, you need to distinguish between two types of this spice: cinnamon for sale in ground form or as cinnamon sticks in the supermarket comes from the smaller cinnamon bush (Cinnamomum cassia), which is mainly cultivated in Indonesia. The Ceylon cinnamon, on the other hand, is characterized by a finer taste and a higher content of essential oils. Due to its components, it is of significantly higher quality and therefore also has a more pronounced effect on the organism. Cinnamon is an effective natural remedy, however, as for us humans, it should be used in moderation when baking for dogs.

Cardamom - beneficial for breath and digestion

Cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum), along with saffron, is one of the most precious spices in the world. It belongs to the ginger family and is particularly valued in India. There it is processed into tea and curry due to its incomparably spicy taste. Mainly the unripe green seeds that are harvested by hand are used. The spice can either be bought as seeds, ground or as capsules in stores all year round. If the capsules are still intact, they are of particularly high quality. However, if you have already opened the capsule, the seeds will lose their aroma quickly. As an exotic spice, cardamom contains many essential oils, which have a positive effect on the respiratory tract and digestion. Avoid the spice in large quantities for pregnant bitches, otherwise - similar to ginger - contractions may occur.

Coriander - a great taste for dog biscuits

Coriander (Coriandrum sativum) originally comes from the eastern Mediterranean. It is closely related to caraway and fennel. The taste of the seeds is spicy, somewhat sweet and reminiscent of orange peel, cinnamon and nutmeg. The coriander seeds or fruits are used whole or ground. We recommend using the whole seeds for your dog biscuits so that the essential oils stay in and do not evaporate. Again, you should make sure to use this spice only in moderation.

Thyme - dominant, revitalizing flavour

Thyme (Thyme vulgaris) is mainly native to southern Europe, where it has been cultivated and valued since time immemorial. The small, bushy shrub gives off a pleasant fragrance, the taste is intensely spicy and very aromatic, almost resinous. Thyme has long fought for its place as a spice in Mediterranean cuisine, but it is also popular as a medicinal plant in the gastrointestinal and respiratory tracts. Thyme is a popular herb for dogs and can be used well when baking for dogs. Here, too, you should use it discreetly, because its taste is dominant.

Fennel - beneficial for the stomach, intestines and respiratory tract

The fennel plant (Foeniculum vulgare) forms a tuber, which is used as a vegetable, as well as seeds and fruits. This plant, too, originally comes from the Mediterranean region and was valued for its beneficial effects on the stomach / intestines and the respiratory tract. The fennel seeds are a tasty and well-tolerated spice for dogs. The taste is sweet, similar to anise. The essential oils found in fennel are liked by most dogs. Even if the ingredients are of very high quality, they should be used sparingly due to their intense taste.

Off to the dog Christmas bakery

Many of our popular Christmas spices are suitable for baking dog biscuits. However, avoid spices such as nutmeg, allspice, clove and bitter almond. All others can be used for the Christmas bakery, where your little friend can nibble healthily too. The selection is huge and there are no limits to your creativity.

Here are two recipes:

Christmas oat biscuits

150g oat flakes (small grain)

200g oat flakes (large grain)

75g spelt flour

50g of oat bran

1 grated apple

75g ground hazelnuts

250ml oat milk

250g quark

¼ vanilla pod

1 pinch of cinnamon

1 tbsp oil

2 tbsp honey

After combining the ingredients into a dough, let rest for 30 minutes. Then shape and bake.

Yogurt stars

150g small grain spelt flakes

150g spelt flour

50g coconut flakes

1 ripe banana, mashed

2 dried figs

150g natural yogurt

1 tbsp wheat germ oil

1 tbsp honey

1 pinch of cardamom, anise and ginger each

Mix all ingredients well, cut usinsg cookie cutters and bake at 180°C, or 160°C in a convection oven.


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