Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Chicken hearts

The title of this post is not a reflection on the pack, I'm not saying they are a bunch of chicken hearts, not at all.  We have chicken hearts.  From chickens. (I am finding them a bit gross since it has been a few years now that I've been eating almost exclusively vegan, but that's not what this is about.)

A few weeks ago, the pack received some dehydrated liver from fellow Canadian blogger US On Cloud Nine.  I've been considering a dehydrator for a while now and those pieces of liver decided it.  I knew I had to get one or else the pack was going to be trying to obtain bus tickets to go and find more of the dehydrated liver.

So, off to the local department store and we became the proud owners of dehydrator.  Let the fun begin!  I started with some fruit and dehydrated apples and bananas.  Yum!  Then we moved on to some potatoes (got a good deal, 10 pounds for 99 cents) and then some sweet potatoes.

sweet potatoes after steaming, into the dehydrator trays

In the above picture, that's Brook at my feet, as usual.

Both the white potatoes and the sweet potatoes were a success with the sweet potatoes becoming dog treats.  Very, very popular and crunchy dog treats.


I had asked our veterinarian about the dehydrated liver and voiced my concerns about the fact that the liver was concentrated and whether or not it was "good" for the dogs to eat.  

Me:  "I'm just a bit concerned, you know, because of what the liver's function 
        is in the body.  Then it becomes concentrated with the dehydrating. I 
        wonder if that is maybe not such a good thing for them to eat."

Dr. R: "Really?  That's your concern?  Didn't you just tell me that they eat
        shit out in the yard?"

Well, you know, the vet has got a good point there.  But seriously, the vet did say that the small amount of liver they get as a treat is fine and that I worry to much.

So, off to the grocery store to look for some liver.  While I was there, I saw chicken hearts and they were cheaper than the liver, so, being the thrifty little thing that I am, I decided to try the hearts.

I sliced them in half and around 12 hours later, this is what we had.


They are very crunchy and the whole pack loves them!  While they were dehydrating, there was a slight smell in the air and a few curious little noses leaning towards the counter top.  

Forest keeping an eye on the dehydrator
Brook:  "I smell something yummy!"
 

26 comments:

  1. Congrats on the new dehydrator. It's a lot of fun, but it gets stinky! Wait until you try dehydrating liver.

    Way to make the pack happy! :D

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    1. I'm a bit concerned about the liver smell and therefore might hold off until warmer weather so I can open all the windows!

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  2. Oooh, that sounds good! We have some dehydrator experience too. The liver will be interesting! :)

    Enjoy!

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    1. For now we'll stick with the veggies and the remaining chicken hearts. I am going to try some different fruits for humans to try.

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  3. That picture of Brook says it all.

    XXXOOO Daisy, Bella & Roxy

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    1. That is typical Brook! "Food? Got food?" It was a bit funny to watch her trying to determine where the smell was coming from.

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  4. Oh! Stumpy would kill for those chicken hearts! No room in the moho for a dehydrator. Sorry, Stumpy!

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    1. Please tell Stumpy that if we were closer, we'd come by, pitch our tent and share treats!

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  5. OMG I love your Vet! So, will you use the dehydrator for both humans and canines? Do you designate certain trays for the meats and others for the vegetables?

    BTW, this is on my list of items to purchase. I want to start dehydrating things!

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    1. We're just getting started with the dehydrator but I want to do lots more for (human) long term storage. I'm only doing one type of food at a time since I don't want to risk any smell/taste transfer. Next to try is pineapple for humans.

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  6. The liver does stink up your house. I mean, it isn't terrible (like tripe), but it's a distinctly meaty smell. Also, pro-tip: either buy the solid liners for your dehydrator trays, or put down some parchment on top of the trays when you do liver. Not to be too gross, but liver is ooze-y and dries down in the gaps of your trays. It is brutal to get them clean again.

    I try to buy organic for liver if I can, but it's hard to find anything besides chicken here.

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    1. Thanks for the tip about the parchment paper! I too would prefer organic liver but don't ever see it and have yet to see heart. I asked at one store and was told that they rarely have it. I am considering looking into other sources.

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  7. Love your vet!

    Ok, I was on board with the whole dehydrator thing until you mentioned the odor. ;)

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    1. I'm thinking that if the windows are open and maybe a fan blowing the smell outside it might be better or even put the dehydrator on the porch. Sure, I'll probably end up with all kinds of critters coming over to check it out! Don't worry, I'll get pictures.

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  8. Ok, I LOL!! Love the Vet...

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    1. Ya, our vet is great! We moved a few years ago and as a result, the vet clinic is about a 45 minute drive. There is one in town that is literally a five minute walk away but the care is fantastic and the humor is worth the drive too!

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  9. Your vet is too funny.

    I've been considering a dehydrator, but just don't know where I will fit it in my kitchen! Those sweet potato treats look pretty yummy.

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    1. Well, you know, the dehydrator isn't something that has to sit on the counter all the time. You could use it and then tuck it into a cupboard or closet until next time. I'm just saying.... : )

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  10. Your vet is funny (and right).

    Such happy dogs! I love that blissed-out expression on Brook's face in that last photo.

    I used to make dehydrated treats for Wrigs (and his predecessors). Homemade beef jerky was very popular. I stopped making these treats after Wrigs was diagnosed with IBD and lymphangiectasia because he's been on a limited diet since then. For normal, healthy dogs, dehydrated liver and other meat is a fabulous treat, and certainly far superior to anything you'd buy at the store. Wrigs still gets liver, but now it's in the form of the biscotti treats I bake for him. He seems to digest these just fine. Liver is packed with nutrients. Heart is great too!

    Susan and Wrigs

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    1. I was actually looking at cheap/reduced-for-quick-sale beef the other day, thinking of that for the dogs. We no longer buy any treats (except hooves a few times a year). Liver biscotti treats sound dog yummy. I was thinking of dehydrating the peanut butter treats I make to see if that makes them super crunchy.

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    2. Good idea about the peanut butter treats! You could also try baking them longer at a lower temp., I suppose. The Lonely Dogs' comment made me laugh. The things we do for our dogs...

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    3. Yup, it is all about them! (at least I think it should be because as I always say, they didn't ask to live with me, I chose them)

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  11. I need a dehydrator... we buy dehydrated apples sometimes, and any fruit or veggie would go over well as treats as well I'm sure. Great... that's next on my Crazy Dog Mom Must Have List.
    I love your vet's comment. =)

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    1. Aren't we quite the shoppers - "my dog needs..." it's not about the humans! When I was considering a dehydrator, my first thought was what I would dehydrate for the dogs and then it was, oh ya, I could do stuff for people too!

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  12. I bet your guys are SO happy with those dried chicken hearts! You are such a good Mom hacking those squidgy things up for your babies... I definitely would have had to wear goggles and gloves :-)

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    1. I will admit, they were a bit disgusting but, you know how it is, it is all about the dogs!

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