holiday treat

This healthy recipe makes the perfect holiday treat for your equine partner – and your human family can enjoy it too.

Morning Glory Crunch Holiday Treat

•4 cups whole oat flour
•1/2 cup oat bran
•1 tablespoon cinnamon
•2 teaspoons baking soda (optional)
• 1/2 teaspoon sea salt (try a hand harvested artisan sea salt)
• 1 teaspoon organic peppermint caffeine-free herbal tea, or 1 teaspoon dried mint
•1/2 cup unsweetened coconut
•2 cups grated carrots

•1 red apple, grated
• 1/2 cup unsweetened apple butter or unsweetened apple sauce
•1/2 cup unpasteurized honey
• 1 cup unsulfured, unsweetened dried cranberries
•2 eggs •1/2 cup hemp oil
•2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

•Oatmeal for dredging and rolling

Choose organic ingredients whenever possible.
Preheat oven to 350ºF and line large cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Combine all ingredients in a mixer or by hand, in a large bowl.
Place oatmeal for dredging in a small bowl.
Form balls of dough, the size of large “truffles”, roll in oatmeal and place on cookie sheet.
Lightly pat down “truffles” with a fork. Bake for 30 minutes.
Then turn the oven down to 275ºF and bake for another hour.
(For a treat you can share with the whole family, bake just once, not twice.)
Turn oven off and allow cookies to cool completely before storing them in an airtight container, an open bowl, or package them in a decorative container for the perfect “Happy Horse Holiday” treat. This recipe makes 70 good-sized crunchy cookies!

Full of Goodness

The healthful ingredients in these cookies offer a variety of nutritional benefits to your horse.

Oats are a strength-giving whole cereal. They also soothe the digestive tract and nervous system. They are low in starch and high in mineral content, especially potassium and phosphorus. Oats contain calcium and magnesium, are rich in B vitamins, and are a very good source of iron. They also cleanse impurities found in the intestines.

Red apples contain vitamin C, potassium, phosphorus, chlorine, sodium, magnesium, calcium, sulphur, iron, fluorine and silicon, as well as many trace minerals. They are a powerhouse of antioxidants, including lycopene and anthocyanins. Apples, especially the peels, offer antioxidant activity that scavenges free radicals, inhibiting the growth of cancer cells. Red delicious, northern spy and Ida red apples have more potent disease-fighting antioxidants, due to their higher levels of polyphenol activity.

Honey has been used since ancient times. There are more than 300 types in the United States, ranging from wildflower and fireweed honey, to basswood, dandelion, pumpkin and sage honey. Darker honeys contain the most antioxidants. Try dark unpasteurized forest honey nectar, amber unpasteurized dandelion honey, or Pacific Northwest wildflower blossom honey. Raw local honey may help companion animals and their guardians develop resistance to allergyinducing pollens.

Hemp is one of the most powerfully nutritious foods we can share with our horses. It is packed with essential fatty acids, including Omega-3 in the form of alpha linolenic acid; Omega-6 in the form of linolenic acid and gamma linoleic acid; and Omega-9 in the form of oleic acid. Hemp’s fatty acid profile is closer to fish oil than any other vegetable oil, including flax seed oil. Hemp is a healthy and environmentally friendly gluten-free protein source, and is rich in vitamins C and E, and chlorophyll. It also has an excellent amino acid profile, and is heart smart and joint friendly. Hemp is definitely “hip” for horses!

Coconut is rich in digestible oils, provides an excellent source of fiber and discourages worms. It’s also good for insulin resistant horses.

Carrots are one of the kings of the vegetable patch. There are over 100 varieties, and each is a storehouse of nutrient power. Carrots contains pro-vitamin A, also known as beta-carotene, vitamins B, C, D, E and K, riboflavin, niacin, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, sodium, iron, magnesium, manganese, sulphur, copper and iodine. They support the immune system and eye health, aid digestion and are recognized as a glandular tonic.

Cinnamon was used by the ancient Chinese for nausea, fever and diarrhea. It was also added to food to prevent spoilage. It is noted for its antibacterial and antifungal properties, and is a carminative and digestive tonic when prepared as a tea.

Cranberries are considered one of the world’s healthiest foods. They contain a variety of bioactive components, including proanthocyanidins and anthocyanins (both antioxidants) and ellagic acid. Anthocyanins are the pigments that give cranberries their color and have been found to have the strongest antioxidant power of 150 flavonoids tested. They also have an anti-inflammatory action that can help lessen allergic reactions. Proanthocyanidins help strengthen blood vessels and improve the delivery of oxygen to cell membranes. In laboratory settings, ellagic acid has been found to cause apoptosis or “cell death” in cancer cells. Cranberries also contain dietary fiber, manganese, vitamins C and K, and tannins, which help keep bacteria from adhering to the walls of the urinary tract. Cranberries are great for teeth too!

Alternative sweeteners include pure all-natural coconut sap, which is nutrient rich, and contains no artificial flavorings or additives. Coconut sap is the sweet juice extracted when the budding flower is just about to grow. Coconut sweetener is a rich source of B vitamins, amino acids and minerals, including phosphorus, potassium and magnesium. It is also low on the glycemic index, so is a great choice for insulin resistant horses! Cactus honey powder and evaporated maple syrup can also be used in place of traditional sweeteners.

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. While Audi can no longer ride horses, she can still treat them well and often!