Rewind the clock to about a year ago …
In an attempt to feed my aging Chihuahua something yummy that would also benefit his joints, I had an idea to create a wiggly, jiggly, Fido-friendly jello treat. (One of Jello’s main ingredients is gelatin, which benefits the joints, bones, gut health, digestion, skin, nails, and the list goes on.).
Since my dogs much prefer a savory flavor over a fruity one (and store-bought Jello is a no-go for our dogs because of the other ingredients packed inside), I immediately started recipe testing. I felt like the little rat in the adorable cartoon movie Ratatouille, as I reached for some chicken breast, a carrot, a sprig of parsley, and, of course, a packet of plain gelatin powder.
With a lot of excitement, but little faith in the outcome, I let the treats set for about two hours in the fridge. The result?! Well, if we fast forward to the present, it’s now one of my most popular treat recipes!
Beef & Broccoli Jello Dog Treats
Since my original chicken jello treats were such a hit, I went back to the drawing board. Only this time, I used a cheap cut of steak as my main protein and a couple of broccoli florets as my veggie.
If you ask the dogs, they’ll tell you this one is another success!
Beef is a staple in many dogs’ diets. It’s nutritious, affordable (we aren’t working with expensive cuts for this treat), and dogs usually love the taste!
Broccoli is a low-calorie, nutrient-dense, cruciferous vegetable that touts anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties! Find out more about broccoli for dogs in our Food Facts feature HERE.
In case you didn’t know, plain, unflavored, and unsweetened gelatin isn’t only safe for our canine companions, it actually offers big benefits for their joints, bones, gut health, digestion, skin, nails, and the list goes on.
High in amino acids (the building blocks of protein), gelatin is a form of hydrolyzed collagen (AKA broken-down collagen) that’s taken from animal parts. I’m not talking about a plain chicken breast, though. Instead, gelatin is from areas like an animal’s skin, bone marrow, tissues, and tendons. It’s virtually colorless and tasteless.
If you’re looking for convenience, Knox is a popular brand that you can probably find at your local grocery store. But, if you’re looking to reap the biggest health reward, then look into brands like Great Lakes.
Beef & Broccoli Dog Treat Recipe
Beef & Broccoli Jello Dog Treats
- 1/4 pound steak (No need for an expensive cut. Something cheap works great – just trim excess fat)
- 2-3 small broccoli florets
- Water, for boiling (will need to reserve 1/2 cup)
- 1 (.25oz) packet Knox gelatin powder plain, unflavored, and unsweetened
- Place steak and broccoli into a saucepan. Fill with enough water to cover.
- On medium heat, let cook for about 15 minutes. When finished, the steak will be fully cooked.
- Transfer cooked steak, broccoli, and 1/2 cup of the fresh beef broth to a blender. Puree until smooth.
- Add gelatin powder and mix with a spoon until the gelatin is fully dissolved. I find mixing the gelatin in with a spoon works better for me vs simply blending it with the blender. But that's personal preference!
- Place a silicone mold onto a baking sheet for support and spoon the mixture into each mold, filling to the top.
- Move to the refrigerator for 1-2 hours, or until fully set.
- Remove jello-like treats from the mold. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 4 days.
- Don’t feed your dog store-bought Jell-O, which is filled with extra additives that aren’t good for dogs. Knox is a pretty common brand and they offer a plain, unflavored, unsweetened gelatin option that is safe for dogs. Or, Great Lakes is a high-end brand!
- As tempting as it may be to add a boullion cube into your water to bump up the flavor, don’t! Bouillon is typically processed with large amounts of sodium, sugar, MSG, and other ingredients that dogs should avoid.