For as much energy as our dogs can have, sometimes they need a little boost every now and then. This is where carbohydrates come in.
The main function of carbohydrates for your dog is to provide them with an adequate source of energy.
Carbohydrates come in simple or complex forms. Generally, simple carbohydrates are absorbed quicker, giving your dog a brief burst of energy, whereas complex carbohydrates are absorbed slower, giving your dog a longer-lasting boost.
The base for these energy balls is one of my favorite on-the-go snacks: rice cakes. Rice cakes are considered a high-glycemic food, which mean they digest fast, giving your dog a quick burst of energy. They are also low in calories and fat. If you want to give your dog an even longer lasting boost you can also swap some of the rice cakes for oatmeal.
The other ingredients in the treat provide incredible benefits, too.
Bananas are a great source of potassium, which helps with muscle function. They also contain a high amount of natural sugars, which makes them a great energy source.
Raw honey is a delicious addition to any treat and is another food high in simple sugars.
Peanut butter is highly palatably to most dogs and also contains fat, protein and fiber that provides a long lasting form of energy.
Ready to roll? Great! Here’s how to make some easy and delicious energy balls for your dog.
- 6 rice cakes
- ½ ripe banana*
- ¼ cup peanut butter
- 1 tsp raw honey
* This is a great way to use up bananas that are going brown on the outside but still tasty on the inside.
Place a baking sheet in the oven and preheat the oven to 320°F.
In a bowl, break the rice cakes into small pieces and set aside. You can also use a food processor for this step, if you have one.
Mash the banana and add it to the rice cakes together with peanut butter and raw honey.
Use you hands to mash and mix the ingredients until everything sticks together.
Shape the “dough” into small balls, about 0.6 inches in diameter. You can’t really roll them. It’s really more of a squishing and moulding process.
Bake for around ten minutes. They will feel a bit on the mushy side.
Turn the oven off and allow the treats to cool completely inside the oven before removing. This will harden them.
These treats don’t have to be baked. They can be eaten immediately and stored in the fridge for a few days. My preference is to bake them. It makes them easy to carry in my pocket or treat bag. The baked treats can be stored in an airtight container for two weeks.
673 Calories, 34 grams of fat, 21 grams of protein, 79 grams of carbohydrates per serving (about 20 energy balls).