Gelatin Gummy Dog Treats with Fresh Turmeric

Homemade turmeric dog treats with fresh turmeric recipe

These treats are a fresh twist on our turmeric powder dog treat recipes. These gorgeous golden gelatin gummy dog treats are made with fresh turmeric instead of powder. Get the scoop on fresh turmeric, including how we prep and store ours for easy use for people or pets. And, of course, we’re sharing the DIY details on how these fresh turmeric gummy treats were made. Woofs!

Fresh Turmeric

For most of us, turmeric is something we buy and use in powdered form. It’s very convenient and that’s still my go-to preferences for cooking and baking, whether for people or for pets. Depending on where you live, however, you might be able to buy fresh turmeric from local markets or specialty stores, or even grow your own. When I found some fresh turmeric, I couldn’t resist trying it out.

Fresh turmeric root rhizomes

Growing Your Own Turmeric

Propagating and Growing Turmeric Plants

Turmeric powder is made from the dried ground root rhizomes of the turmeric plant. Rhizomes are fleshy underground stem growths that can (if edible) be harvested for food or replanted to propagate new plants. Turmeric is from the same plant family as ginger if you’ve ever tried planting or growing  ginger root. Pretty and productive, but they’re tropical plants, so you’ll need either a great climate or you can try growing (or overwintering) indoors. Here in NZ, turmeric also requires some hunting. Fresh turmeric is not commonly available and if it’s imported, it’s also important to check the details to ensure its nonirradiated if you’re hoping to grow plants.

Fresh turmeric root rhizome

Storing Turmeric from Fresh Roots for Easy Use and Longer-Term Storage

Fresh turmeric is even messier and more risky for staining than powder, so grating it for individual small quantity use (whether fresh or frozen) was a pretty unappealing option. Dehydrating and grinding it for turmeric powder is a great option, especially if you’re storing in bulk or gifting to friends. I can only imagine the mess my clumsy self might create in the process, though. Oh dear… Fortunately, I already have a good local supplier for quality organic turmeric powder. For the fresh roots, I decided to accept the risk of some freezer burn and freeze ground raw turmeric instead. By freezing the prepped turmeric thinly on a sheet, it could then be broken into small pieces for transfer to sealed storage for easy small quantity ready use in future treat making.

Preparing and freezing fresh turmeric root for frozen storage and easy use

Making Gelatin Gummy Dog Treats with Fresh Turmeric

Experimenting with Fresh Turmeric for Dog Treat Making

My first experiment with fresh turmeric was as a swap for turmeric powder in gelatin gummies. This would be an easy experimental twist on making gummies with turmeric powder, and a great way to compare the look, flavour, scent, and our dogs opinion before trying it in other recipes. They seemed to be enjoying the smells around the kitchen while I prepped the turmeric, so next stop gummies for taste testing!

Dalmatian dog eating fresh turmeric dog treat
Dalmatian dog sniffing fresh turmeric dog treat

Fresh vs. Powdered Turmeric

Fresh turmeric, like it’s ginger cousin, has more spicy zing than dried powder forms. Like many foods, it also has more nutrients when fresh, retains more essential oils, and may have higher curcumin than process turmeric. The latter is what got me interested in turmeric for dogs in the first place, so how could I resist? For substitutions, they generally say to use around three times as much fresh turmeric as powdered. I thought that might be too strong and/or spicy for dog treats, so I kept things similar to the quantity of powder I’d use for a strong turmeric gummy treat even with the fresh substitution. As with all of our recipe ideas, you can adjust to suit your preferences and pet’s palette.

I’ve also noticed since starting my experiments that the golden colour enhances with steeping time (liquids) or resting time (doughs) when using fresh turmeric. Not really surprising since it has to spread from the tiny chunks instead of a dispersed powder, but worth noting all the same. If you’re aiming for brightly coloured dog treats, let your mixture rest, if the recipe allows, before setting or baking.

Homemade gelatin gummy dog treats with fresh turmeric

Fresh Turmeric Gelatin Gummy Dog Treat Recipe

Homemade Gelatin Gummy Dog Treats with Fresh Turmeric

These treats are a version of our simple stock/broth gelatin gummy dog treats made with added turmeric and other optional seasonings. Based upon the experiment, we’d be comfortable with swapping fresh for powder in any of our turmeric gummy recipes, except where it’s being used to create a specific look, like our gold dust gummy treats. I’ve used it in baked treats as well. Powder will still be our go to as this fresh turmeric was a special seasonal lucky find, although I’m keen to try growing some in the future.

Treat Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of homemade (or ready-made unsalted unseasoned) stock or alternative liquid
  • 3 tbsp quality gelatin powder
  • Approximately 1 tbsp finely grated turmeric root
  • Sprinkle of ground black pepper
  • Sprinkle of Ceylon cinnamon (optional)

You can use more or less of the spices if you wish to alter the supplementation content or smell/taste of the gummies, or omit something completely to better suit your dog. 

Making the Treats:

I usually like to add my dry or powdered ingredients to a pouring container and mix after the gelatin has been prepared. For the fresh turmeric, I decided to make an exception and steep it in the gelatin mixture throughout the prep. You can use whichever method you prefer.

  • Measure the cool stock into a small pan.
  • Sprinkle the surface with gelatin powder.
  • Wait and let sit for approximately five minutes or longer for the gelatin powder to bloom / gel. 
  • Add turmeric and seasonings.
  • Gently stir the mixture over low heat until the gelatin is completely dissolved. Take care not to shortcut with high temperatures or overheat. Heat can reduce the setting strength of gelatin.   
  • Remove from heat and (optional) transfer to a container for easy pouring. I like using a coffee milk jug when I make gummies. They’re stain resistant, heat safe, easy pour, and dishwasher-friendly. Extra helpful with ingredients like turmeric.
  • Cool to help suspend the solids prior to pouring to set to help keep the bits of turmeric distributed. See below for more details.
  • Pour into a glass pan (cut and slice) or silicone moulds (shapes).
  • Chill to set. 

To suspend solids in a gummy, you can cool the gelatin down to just above its setting point so that it is thick and viscous enough to hold the floating and/or sinking pieces distributed through the gummy mixture. Slowly, stirring often, allow the mixture to cool and thicken. You can do this easily at room temperature, or you can speed things up by using the fridge (or an ice bath, if you prefer). When the mixture has thickened enough, spoon or pour the mixture into your moulds to set as per above. See our gummy pet chef help post for more info.

Making gelatin gummy dog treats with fresh turmeric

Gummy Dog Treat Making Tips and Tricks

Recipe and Ingredient Tips and Tricks

  • My dogs like the smell of plain gelatin and will happily accept plain gummies (gelatin and water), but a tasty boost of chicken stock never goes astray. Mine is homemade. You can read more in our FAQ post on stock for making homemade dog treats.
  • In my experience, 3 tbsp of gelatin powder per cup of liquid makes firm gummies. If you prefer, you can use more gelatin for added supplementation or less for a jigglier jelly treat with lower gelatin content. Individual gelatin powders may be a little stronger / weaker. Find a ratio that works for your preferences and, of course, your dog.
  • Remember, turmeric stains. Pick your cookware with care, clean-up spills quickly, and keep stain-awareness in mind when giving treats.
  • In addition to being doggone delicious and fragrant, cinnamon offers some great health benefits to dogs (and people); however, it’s not suitable for everyone. Pregnant/nursing dogs in particular should not be given cinnamon. Ceylon cinnamon is the recommended variety for dogs, if/when used.

Hungry for more tasty treats?  There are all sorts of homemade dog treat ideas in our blog archives. You can use the category and tag labels to find other recipes that might be of interest or use our internal search tools to find something specific. Remember, treats (bought or homemade) are for spoiling your pup in moderation. We share ideas from treats that we’ve made ourselves for our pets, but different animals have different preferences (likes/dislikes), just like people. Some pets may have special dietary requirements and/or food allergies/intolerances. If you are ever in doubt or have questions about what’s suitable for your pet, have a chat with your trusted vet.

Homemade turmeric dog treats with fresh turmeric recipe

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