Making natural dog chews

Every dog needs chews. I like to give them to Molly as a treat or to keep her busy and out of my way. She follows me around like she’s my shadow after all.

At some point in a fancy pet store I came across sweet potato chews and bought them. Molly loves them. I love them, except for the price. Enter my food dehydrator, purchased specifically to make Molly sweet potato chews (spoiled, I know). I finally got around to trying this out.

First, I washed the potatoes. Leaving the skin on except for the green parts and eyes, I tried to slice them about 1/2″ thick. They were very hard to slice so usually one side was thicker than the other.

After slicing 4 potatoes, I arranged the slices in the food dehydrator so that they didn’t touch.

I then dried them in the food dehydrator for about 14 hours. Next time, I think I’ll get a Mandoline slicer to make them uniform thickness.

Molly certainly approved.


 What’s your dog’s favorite natural treat? Molly also loves bananas and apples. She must have a sweet tooth.


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Kale crisps… learning how to make them right

Kale is delicious, as I’ve mentioned before. Early in 2011 I started reading about making kale chips / crisps and tried it myself. Using my oven, they came out tasty but you had to eat them right away or they didn’t stay all that crispy. Fast forward to now. As a gift this year, I got a Nesco food dehydrator. Technically, I got it to make my dog sweet potato chews, which are quite pricey to buy. I will try to make those soon and post my results. My food dehydrator is simple, with just an off and on switch, no temperature settings that many dehydrators seem to have. I wasn’t able to find out how long I should dry the kale, so I had to experiment. I tried making both the curly and flat leaf kale and I found that the curly leaf kale definitely tastes better.

Kale crisps recipe


  • Curly leaf kale
  • Olive oil
  • Spices – salt and pepper are a must. Try also adding paprika or your other favorite spice blend.


Rinse kale thoroughly. Make sure to check the underside of the leaves for any bugs. Tear it into pieces about 1.5 – 2 inches. Don’t bother with the small pieces on the stems because they will wither away and just look like crumbs. Dry the kale – a salad spinner works well for this.

Put about half of the kale into a large bowl. Drizzle a small amount of olive oil and add some spices. Roll up your sleeves and use your hands to knead the kale to get the oil to coat the kale leaves. I found that using a spoon didn’t coat the leaves well enough. After you have kneaded in the oil, the kale will have wilted a bit and now you can put the other half of the kale in. If you had plenty of oil already, you can just continue to knead to spread the oil. If needed, add another drizzle of oil. Continue to add spices to taste.

After the oil and spices are spread, arrange the kale on the dehydrator trays. Don’t layer too much, but you can definitely crowd it on the trays.

Then, turn on the dehydrator. After about 3 hours, the kale should be done!

Store in an air tight container and enjoy!

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