Tools For Preparing Homemade Recipe

Necessary Equipment

  • Food scale
  • Cutting board
  • Knife
  • Large bowl
  • Food containers
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Cooking equipment such as oven, pans, or pots for cooked ingredients

Helpful Equipment

  • Silicone spatula
  • Potato masher
  • Coffee grinder, tablet crusher, or mortar and pestle
  • Disposable gloves
  • Gram scale
  • Grinder

Preparation Instructions

Tip: Many meat cuts are easier to chop, trim, and grind when slightly frozen (should be hard, but easy to cut with a knife without too much effort).

1. Cook any ingredients that need to be cooked. Let these ingredients cool completely. This can be done on a previous day.

General Cooking Instructions

  • “Cooked with dry heat”: For these ingredients, you can cook using any cooking method that uses dry heat, such as baking, roasting, or pan frying. It is best to use gentle methods of cooking, such a cooking meats at a low temperature for longer times until they reach an internal temperate of 160F, then using high heat to quickly cook items, such a grilling or broiling. Avoid overcooking foods.
  • “Cooked with moist heat”: For these ingredients, you can cook using any cooking method that uses moist heat, such a boiling, braising, stewing or steaming. 
  • “Cooked”: For these ingredients,  they can be cooked used any cooking method.
  • Unless indicated in the recipe report, try to include all liquids left from cooking meat ingredients in the recipe. Please note some ingredients, especially high fat ingredients, should not include leftover liquids, so make sure to check your recipe for specific notes.
  • Do not use nonstick cookware.
  • Chopping ingredients into small pieces, then cooking can decrease cooking times but generally results in more nutrient loss.

Cooking Starches

  • For starches, use the raw weight estimate given. Depending on how much water is used during cooking and the cooking method, the final cooked weight may differ than what is listed in the recipe. If the cooked starches weigh more than expected (using the raw weight given), increase the total recipe feeding amount accordingly.
  • For quinoa, soak in water for 12-24 hours before cooking. For rice, rinse with water before cooking.
  • Starches should generally be cooked longer and with more water than for humans for best digestibility. For buckwheat, rice, and oats this is typically about 2-2.5x water as the dry starch. You may need more or less, depending on your cooking method. For quinoa, if you’ve soaked it overnight, you will need about 1.5x water.

2. Mix together your supplements (all ingredients listed under Supplement Mix), and set aside. This can be done on a previous day. Do not include any supplements that should be fed daily.

  • For powdered supplements, using a gram scale is the best way to weigh out an accurate amount of the supplement. If you do not have a gram scale, you can use a measuring spoon (tsp/tbsp).
  • For capsules, twist apart the capsule to release the powder inside.
  • For tablets, you will need to grind the tablet into a powder. To do this, you can use a coffee grinder, a tablet crusher, or a mortar and pestle. If you do not have these tools, you can also place your tablets in a freezer ziploc bag, then crush user a hammer or rubber mallet. For small tablets, you should also be able to crush them with the back of a spoon and pressure.
  • For psyllium husk, soak in a little bit of warm water. Wait until the mixture gels up before adding to the recipe.

3. Choose an ingredient that can easily be mashed (a cooked starch like sweet potato works well, or ground meat/eggs). Weigh out that ingredient for the batch, then add in your supplement mix. Mix thoroughly. 

4. For each of the other ingredients, weigh out the correct amount for the batch. Chop if needed, then grind. Ground ingredients can be placed into a big bowl with the other ground ingredients, including the supplement mix.

5. Once all ingredients are ground, mix all ingredients together thoroughly. Take care to mix very well to ensure even distribution of ingredients and supplements.

6. Portion recipe into containers.

  • For single dog recipes, 1 container/day is typically most convenient. You do not have to weigh out food at each meal (you can generally eyeball meal sizes as long as the entire daily portion is fed in one day).
  • For pack recipes, 1 container/day for all dogs is typically most convenient and efficient with freezer space. You would need to weigh out each dog’s batch recipe portion per meal.
  • For cat recipes, 1 container/1-2 days is typically most efficient with freezer space. You would need to weigh out each cat’s recipe portion per meal.

7. Freeze any meals that will not be eaten in the next two days. Thaw meals in refrigerator for 24 hours before feeding.

8. Add daily ingredients fresh before each meal. Follow instructions in feeding chart for dosing across days or meals.
For example, if a softgel is listed as “1 softgel every other day”, you would feed a softgel one day, then skip the next day, then feed the day after and so on.

This is not recommended for recipes for cats or very small dogs, packs or clowders.

Tip: Many meat cuts are easier to chop, trim, and grind when slightly frozen (should be hard, but easy to cut with a knife without too much effort).

1. Cook any ingredients that need to be cooked. Let these ingredients cool completely. This can be done on a previous day.

General Cooking Instructions

  • “Cooked with dry heat”: For these ingredients, you can cook using any cooking method that uses dry heat, such as baking, roasting, or pan frying. It is best to use gentle methods of cooking, such a cooking meats at a low temperature for longer times until they reach an internal temperate of 160F, then using high heat to quickly cook items, such a grilling or broiling. Avoid overcooking foods.
  • “Cooked with moist heat”: For these ingredients, you can cook using any cooking method that uses moist heat, such a boiling, braising, stewing or steaming. 
  • “Cooked”: For these ingredients,  they can be cooked used any cooking method.
  • Unless indicated in the recipe report, try to include all liquids left from cooking meat ingredients in the recipe. Please note some ingredients, especially high fat ingredients, should not include leftover liquids, so make sure to check your recipe for specific notes.
  • Do not use nonstick cookware.
  • Chopping ingredients into small pieces, then cooking can decrease cooking times but generally results in more nutrient loss.

Cooking Starches

  • For starches, use the raw weight estimate given. Depending on how much water is used during cooking and the cooking method, the final cooked weight may differ than what is listed in the recipe. If the cooked starches weigh more than expected (using the raw weight given), increase the total recipe feeding amount accordingly.
  • For quinoa, soak in water for 12-24 hours before cooking. For rice, rinse with water before cooking.
  • Starches should generally be cooked longer and with more water than for humans for best digestibility. For buckwheat, rice, and oats this is typically about 2-2.5x water as the dry starch. You may need more or less, depending on your cooking method. For quinoa, if you’ve soaked it overnight, you will need about 1.5x water.

2. Mix together your supplements (all ingredients listed under Supplement Mix), and set aside. This can be done on a previous day. Do not include any supplements that should be fed daily.

  • For powdered supplements, using a gram scale is the best way to weigh out an accurate amount of the supplement. If you do not have a gram scale, you can use a measuring spoon (tsp/tbsp).
  • For capsules, twist apart the capsule to release the powder inside.
  • For tablets, you will need to grind the tablet into a powder. To do this, you can use a coffee grinder, a tablet crusher, or a mortar and pestle. If you do not have these tools, you can also place your tablets in a freezer ziploc bag, then crush user a hammer or rubber mallet. For small tablets, you should also be able to crush them with the back of a spoon and pressure.
  • For psyllium husk, soak in a little bit of warm water. Wait until the mixture gels up before adding to the recipe.

3. Choose an ingredient that can easily be mashed (a cooked starch like sweet potato works well, or ground meat/eggs). Weigh out that ingredient for the batch, then add in your supplement mix. Mix thoroughly. 

4. Lay out your food containers. There should be one container for each day.

5. Weigh the supplement mix, and divide by the number of days in the batch. Add that amount of the supplement mix to each container.
For example, if your sweet potato and supplement mix weights 800g for 14 days, you would add 57g of the mix to each container.

6. For each of the other ingredients, weigh out the correct amount for the batch. Chop to desired size (based on your pet’s chewing preferences/safety needs), then distribute evenly between containers. In most cases, you do not have to get the exact amount every day, as long as it’s generally even and is the correct amount over the batch length. This applies to raw meaty bones as well, where it may not be possible to feed the exact amount each day. Weigh out the correct amount for your batch, then divide as evenly as possible across days.
For example, if you want to feed 700g of ground beef per week, you can do 110g on one day, 90g on another, and so on, as long as the final weekly weight is 700g. 

7. Freeze any meals that will not be eaten in the next two days. Thaw meals in refrigerator for 24 hours before feeding.

8. Add daily ingredients fresh before each meal. Follow instructions in feeding chart for dosing across days or meals.
For example, if a softgel is listed as “1 softgel every other day”, you would feed a softgel one day, then skip the next day, then feed the day after and so on.

Only recommended for toppers recipes or recipes using mainly premade commercial foods.

1. Mix together your supplements (all ingredients listed under Supplement Mix). These are supplements that are difficult to dose daily as the dose is so small. Your recipe report should include a “batch” amount for these supplements. Do not include any supplements that should be fed daily.

  • For powdered supplements, using a gram scale is the best way to weigh out an accurate amount of the supplement. If you do not have a gram scale, you can use a measuring spoon (tsp/tbsp).
  • For capsules, twist apart the capsule to release the powder inside.
  • For tablets, you will need to grind the tablet into a powder. To do this, you can use a coffee grinder, a tablet crusher, or a mortar and pestle. If you do not have these tools, you can also place your tablets in a freezer ziploc bag, then crush user a hammer or rubber mallet. For small tablets, you should also be able to crush them with the back of a spoon and pressure.

For recipes including whole food toppers that can be prepped in batches and can be used as a carrier ingredient (mashed starches, such as sweet potato):

2. Prep and weigh out that ingredient for the same amount of days as the supplement quantity. Mix in your supplement powder mix. Mix thoroughly for even distribution of supplement.

3. Weigh the supplement mix, and divide by the number of days in the batch. This is the amount of this mix you need to feed daily. These can be portioned into ice cube molds, or portioned into 1-2 day containers and fed as a topper daily.

4. Add daily ingredients, including the supplement mix topper, fresh before each meal. Follow instructions in feeding chart for dosing across days or meals.
For example, if a softgel is listed as “1 softgel every other day”, you would feed a softgel one day, then skip the next day, then feed the day after and so on.

For all other recipes:

2. Weigh the supplement mix using a gram scale. Divide the total weight by the number of days in the batch. This is the amount of the supplement mix you need to feed daily. If you do not have a gram scale, you can measure out the supplement mix using measuring spoons (tsp/tbsp).

3. Store the supplements in an airtight container in a dark cupboard or fridge.

4. Add daily ingredients, including the supplement mix, fresh before each meal. If supplement mix dose is very small, you can dose 1/day, but at each meal is ideal. Follow instructions in feeding chart for dosing other daily ingredients across days or meals.
For example, if a softgel is listed as “1 softgel every other day”, you would feed a softgel one day, then skip the next day, then feed the day after and so on.

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