Today I am going to introduce you to your new best friends - Ice cube trays! They save you time when prepping your dogs meals, & save you money too! They literally are a game changer when it comes to adding variety to every meal you serve your dog. So how on earth can these cheap little trays do all this? Keep reading I’ll & I’ll explain - while I’m at it give you some easy recipes to try at home as well!
No matter what style of feeding or type of food you feed your dog, there’s always room to boost each bowls nutritional content. And, well dogs like variety - who wants to eat the same meal day in and day out? So, let’s get stuck into it.
How to Prep like a Pro - Everyday Dog Meals made easy
My first Pro Tip: go to Kmart or your $2 store and pick up half a dozen cheap trays - once they have food in them they tend to absorb the smell and the last thing you want to do it pour yourself a nice G & T and your ice cubes make it taste like sardines! Keep these trays solely for your dogs dinner. Trust me I have done this and I was sad to see my gin poured down the sink!
You can fill your trays up with such a huge variety of foods, everything from those sardines (that I’m still slightly resentful of!), To Kefir, bone broth and even mashed banana.
Next Pro Tip: Saving yourself some money. A lot of these bowl boosting cubes will be fruit and vegetable based. I have found that buying these type of ingredients when in season is obviously going to be cheaper. My local fruit store marks down a lot of sad limp produce and I usually to buy these for their cooked veggie mix I make them on a month meal batch. We have another video about this topic so check it out later.
Dog Food Meal Prepping on a Budget
If you come across say pumpkins for 20 cents a kilo, grab it, cook it down and again use your trays to freeze it. You’ll have pumpkin for months that literally costs you a nothing per meal. Avocados for example have a fairly short season here in Australia, so I buy up big when they are cheap and simply mash the flesh with a little bit of lemon juice to stop them going brown, but brown is absolutely fine, the nutrients are not compromised it just doesn’t look as appetising
Marked down bananas. The browner they are the higher the sugar content. If natural sugar is of concern to your dog, go for the firmer less ripe ones. Mash and pop into your tray.
Had the family over for dinner and you’ve got some leftover cooked veggies? Don’t bin them, pop them all into a bowl, mash and pop into your trays. With this cost saving tip, make sure that they are just the plain veggies, no gravies or sauces and definitely no onion. Onion is toxic to dogs and you’ll have one very sick doggo if you feed them this! Dog food Meal Prepping means you waste nothing & save money at the same time!
Next up is my Gin and Tonic destroyer - Tinned sardines - make sure they are in spring water not oil. Okay, this tin is to big to feed my 5 kilo dachshund in one or two meals, and once opened it will make my fridge smell. Answer to this problem? Pour the entire tin water and all into a bowl, mash with a fork, pop it into your tray and freeze! Happy days!
While I’m talking about seafood bit here’s a literal life changer - a completely FREE way to really boost your dogs meals - prawn heads! What I hear you saying!! Once you’ve enjoyed your cooked prawn feast, you’ll have a pile of heads and shells to make your rubbish bin smell. Don’t waste them, simply pop them into a food processor or blender with some water and blitz into a runny goop. Looks terrible, but trust me the nutrients found in these leftover bits would astound you! May look and smell not that great - but your dog will love it!
Next up is an always on in our house: Bone Broth, simply mix it up with boiling water, and pour into your trays. Bone Broth is wonderful to help build the gut microbiome, and it’s really a wonderful super food that helps to mitigate the swelling associated with joint issues like arthritis.
Blueberries when in season are fairly cheap, I love to blend these up with some coconut water or coconut milk. Pretty much any fruit works really well for this mix, just avoid all citrus fruits as they are acidic and can cause diarrhoea. Think along the lines of mangos, dragon fruit, bananas, all types of berries.
And lucky last is my Crunchy omelette... No ice cube trays for this one, but it’s too good not to include. Simply whisk up some eggs - 1 use 24 eggs per batch as it fits in my fry pan perfectly. Do not waste those shells they’re packed full of calcium and minerals - and can contribute to their daily calcium requirements. All you need to do it crush them, I use a rolling pin and a plastic bag. Put the egg mix into a non stick pan and allow to cook halfway through, then add your eggshells. Allow to cook through, then take it off the heat, allow to cool and cut into single serve cubes. Simply pop these into a freezer bag that you can seal, and bobs your uncle, a brilliant bowl boost on hand ready to go!
A question I am asked a lot is can dogs eat frozen or cold foods. The short answer is yes, absolutely, but I have found that our 4 dashies prefer their cubes to be semi-frozen, not rock hard. All I do is go to my freezer, select tonights dinner additions, pop them on a plate and allow to thaw a bit. The liquid ones like kefir turn into a puddle so keep an eye on them, serve when aldente!
There you have it! Time saving and cost saving and just plain convenient - your ice cube trays really will become your new best friends!