holiday recipe

This recipe incorporates applesauce and other wholesome ingredients for a nutritious treat your horse will love.

Your horse works for you all year long, while adding immeasurable pleasure and companionship to your life. The holiday season presents a perfect opportunity to say thank you by giving him a little something special. These treats are packed with healthful ingredients your horse will enjoy and benefit from, including applesauce and cinnamon, and you can eat them too! As with all recipes, choose organic ingredients whenever possible.

Healthy Horse Cookies

4 cups whole flour (e.g., whole oat, hemp)
1/2 cup oatmeal or hemp hearts
1 whole egg 1/4 cup maple syrup*
1-1/4 cups applesauce 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 teaspoons baking powder (e.g., a certified organic, rice based, gluten and aluminum free product)
1 teaspoon Saigon cinnamon
1 teaspoon finely crushed dried mint leaves (if your horse likes the taste of mint)
Extra flour for rolling out dough
Dehydrated maple syrup and sundried, unsulfured cranberries for garnish
*For insulin resistant horses, use filtered water or brown rice syrup in place of maple syrup. horse cookies

Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Cover a large cookie sheet with parchment paper for easy cleanup.

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. The dough will pull away from the sides of the bowl when it is ready to be kneaded and rolled out.

Sprinkle a cutting board or countertop with flour. Divide your cookie dough into four balls, knead each one well, then roll them out separately and cut into squares or other desired shapes. Place on cookie sheet and garnish with cranberries and/or a sprinkle of dehydrated maple syrup.

Bake for 40 minutes, or until the edges of the cookies are golden in color. Cool cookies completely before storing in an open bowl. This recipe makes 45 large cookies.

Tasty & healthy

These ingredients offer a variety of nutritional benefits:

Maple syrup:
You may be surprised to learn that this is one of the world’s healthiest foods. The wonderful tasty syrup comes from the sap of the black or red maple tree, though more exotic syrups, like birch, are available as well.

Amber maple syrup is fantastic for baking. It has a rich taste and is packed with nutrients.

Maple syrup has an even higher concentration of minerals than unpasteurized honey. It is an excellent source of manganese and a good source of zinc. Zinc and manganese work together to support the immune system, as well as helping to lessen inflammation.

Brown rice syrup:
This is a nutritive sweetener about half as sweet as sugar. It is gluten free and has a low value on the glycemic index, partly because it is a complex sugar polysaccharide. This unique structure allows it to be absorbed and broken down more slowly than simple sugars, so rapid spikes in blood glucose levels can be avoided.

Brown rice syrup is a good source of minerals, including magnesium, potassium, iron, manganese, and B vitamins. It can be used in place of other sweeteners. When using it in recipes in place of regular sugar, use 1 to 1-1/4 cups of brown rice syrup for every cup of sugar, and use 1/4 cup less liquid than the recipe calls for.

This familiar spice has many applications. In the West, the inner bark is used primarily for digestive upsets, indigestion and diarrhea. In China, cinnamon is considered a good energizing herb, especially for weak kidney conditions. Cinnamon is perfect to spice up treats for your horse; research shows it may help support horses with insulin resistance.

Audi Donamor spent her childhood and early teenage years riding horses, right beside her dad. She is the founder of The Smiling Blue Skies Cancer Fund, part of the University of Guelph’s Pet Trust, and has been working voluntarily with special needs companion animals for 15 years. She is the only two-time recipient of the Silmaril Kennel Trophy for the Human/Animal Bond and was the 2009 recipient of the Golden Retriever Club of British Columbia’s Christopher Burton Memorial Trophy.