From Cranberry Sauce to Gummy Dog Treat
Crazy for Cranberries
Mmmm…cranberries. They remind me of autumn in Canada, where I grew up. Cranberries, fresh or frozen, aren’t something that I see very often here in New Zealand. They tend to be a seasonal or speciality product, so when I find some I like to snap them up for the freezer. Cranberry sauce is readily available, but generally in a sugary variety that isn’t very dog-friendly. Not that that stops them from sniffing hopefully. That was the inspiration for these treats.
It is early winter here, and autumn harvest time had cranberries on my mind. And in my freezer. Mooohahah… Thanksgiving isn’t celebrated here, but these would be doggone delish for a special Thanksgiving doggy treat. Or perhaps a Christmas nibble with a bite of turkey.
Suspending Solids in Gummy Treats
The treats were also an opportunity for me to put my suspended solids gummy experiments to the test with a combination of chunky berry puree and light floating herbs. See the details below on how to beat the sinking and floating problems that often plague non-soluble add-ins during gummy making! Woohoo!
Not a Cranberry Fan? Can’t Find Cranberries?
Cranberries are dog-safe in moderation, but they’re not for every pup (or every person). You can use the recipe approach below for just about any dog-friendly fruit or veggie puree, although some fruits have enzymes that affect the gelling process. See our introduction to making gummy treats for dogs for tips or check out our other gummy dog treat recipes for inspiration instead.
Cranberry and Herb Gelatin Gummy Dog Treat Recipe
Gelatin Gummy Dog Treats with Pureed Cranberries and Dog-Friendly Herbs
These gummy dog treats were made using shaped silicon moulds, but gummies can also be made as set-and-slice treats in a pan. The process is the same for either method, other than slicing of course. Easy peasy and doggone delicious either way.
- 3/4 cup cool water or homemade (or ready-made unsalted unseasoned) stock
- 3 tbsp quality powdered gelatin
- 1/4 cup pureed plain unseasoned cranberries
- 1 tbsp dog-friendly herbs (optional)
- Small dash of beetroot powder (optional to boost the colour)
You can make these treats with water or rev up the doggone deliciousness with a splash of chicken stock or other dog-friendly liquid. It can also help balance out the tartness of the cranberries. Pale works best for tinting and transparent makes the gelled cranberry really sparkle.
Making the Treats:
- Pre-chill moulds (optional).
- Measure the water 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.
- While waiting, combine the cranberry puree and herbs (I used a combination of dried rosemary and parsley) in a convenient refrigerator safe container which has enough room to hold the additional liquid of your gelatin mix when ready. Set aside while you prepare the gelatin.
- Once the gelatin has bloomed, 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.
- Add the prepared gelatin mixture to the cranberry and herb mixture. Stir to thoroughly combine.
- 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 at room temperature, but it will be faster if you use the fridge (or an ice bath, if you prefer).
- Pour into a glass pan (cut and slice) or silicone moulds (shapes).
- Chill to set.
Gummy Dog Treat Making Tips and Tricks
- See our comprehensive post on making and storing homemade gelatin gummy dog treats for additional information about making gummy treats including helpful gummy making tips, troubleshooting, and safe treat storage.
- These treats should be kept refrigerated and can be frozen for longer storage, although freezing can affect consistency.
Recipe and Ingredient Tips and Tricks
- My dogs like gummies in just about any way I can imagine to create for them, including plain, but a little tasty boost of chicken stock never goes astray. You can read more about stock 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.
- Cranberries may be used fresh or frozen (thawed). Being less juicy than many fruits/berries and thick skinned, they can be difficult to puree. Feel free to use a little less cranberry and add a touch of water or stock to the fruit for processing, if needed.
Hungry for more tasty treats? There are all sorts of homemade dog treat ideas in our blog archives. You can also use use the category and tag labels above/ below this post 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.