Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Pet Treat: Super Healthy Liver Jerky

One of the greatest things about living in Austin is all of the farmer's markets, especially the ones that are open year round. We go about every two weeks and stock up on local eggs, produce, and meat. We make it a habit of getting a treat for our dog too, and we ran into a little stand that sells homemade dog treats. One of the things she sold was liver jerky, which our dog just loved! I decided I wanted to try and make some at home, and try to save us some money. So we just bought a pound of liver from our local farm that we get eggs from (they had pork liver, chicken liver, and duck liver! What a selection!). Total cost for the liver was $4, and it made about 4 times the amount of liver jerky that we had previously bought costing $5. Not only does our dog get tasty morning treats now, but we saved ourselves a little money in the process. Plus, doesn't making it at home just make you feel super awesome and accomplished??

Ingredients
1) 1-2 pounds of fresh liver (Pork, Chicken, Lamb...)
**I highly recommend buying from a farm or going organic on this one, because liver is the organ that processes all the toxins an animal eats, and buying it conventional can be a no-no because all of the antibiotics/pesticides/etc that the animal was exposed to are now just hanging out inside that liver. Nobody wants to eat that!

Instructions
1) This is easier in a food dehydrator, but you could do the same thing in your oven on the very lowest setting possible. Arrange your liver pieces out onto your dehydrator, making sure they have space on all sides.
2) Dehydrator on the setting for meat/jerky (160 degrees), for 4-8 hours. I checked on mine every hour after 4 hours. They should be completely firm to the touch. If cooked less, they'll still be tasty but will be harder to get off the trays and won't last as long in the fridge.
3) Either keep whole or chop into bite-sized pieces.
4) I placed half in the fridge and half in a baggie in the freezer.
5) Feed them to your pets! I give my dog one treat every morning and she is certainly a happier, healthier dog as a result.
Note: You could certainly eat these yourself, if you're brave! 

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