cranberry ice cream • Antioxidant + Gut SupportCranberry Ice Cream for the Dog Days of Summer

This antioxidant + gut support recipe is what is known as a functional food snack. The ingredients in functional food snacks are highly bioavailable foods that offer health enhancements for dogs. Each ingredient used, brings its own unique benefit. 

Read below to learn about the ingredients & what they each bring to the bowl

Raw Goat Milk: Offering a hydrating caloric boost to a dog’s diet, raw goat milk contains various vitamins, minerals, trace elements, electrolytes, enzymes, protein, & fatty acids. This milk is well digested by most dogs and tolerated better than cow milk. It is being used as the “vehicle” to carry the next two ingredients.

Raw Facts About Goat Milk–> In raw form, goat milk contains natural enzymes & microorganisms (bacteria). Once it has been processed, those natural strengths are diminished, if not gone, all depending on the extent of processing. 

The following information about cranberries is taken from my other cranberry articles & recipes.

Raw Cranberries: These berries bring a wide range of health benefits and they’re being used in this recipe for their antioxidant, urinary system, and fiber benefits.

What’s Fantastic About Cranberries: Cranberries are a front runner when it comes to antioxidant, urinary tract support, and fiber. Cranberries are nearly 90% water, which is important to the filtering organs of canines, as well as, to their urinary tract health. Cranberries have a plethora of proven antioxidants in them. Providing antioxidant phytonutrients and other important vitamins & minerals, the cranberry offers Quercetin, Anthocyanins, Benzoic Acid & vitamin E; vitamin C, vitamin B6, vitamin K, vitamin A, potassium, & manganese. Some of the bioactive plant compounds are known to help reduce inflammation and combat some types of bacteria that cause urinary tract infections.  

The Awesome Anti’s the Cranberry Brings: According to a study on cranberries & their bioactive constituents, they are a rich source of (poly)phenols, which have been associated with antibacterial, antiviral, antimutagenic, anticarcinogenic, antitumorigenic, antiangiogenic, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties. 

What Dogs Should Eat Cranberries & Why: Typical dogs can be offered cranberries for both the antioxidant support discussed above, and dogs prone to or suffering from a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI). Cranberries aren’t meant to take the place of antibiotics your Veterinarian may prescribe but they certainly may be fed as a proactive support food or as a holistic approach. With cranberries being made of about 90% water, the other 10% of the berry is made of carbs and fiber. Dogs who could use a fiber boost also benefit from eating cranberries. 

Raw Facts About the Cranberry –> The skin on a cranberry is where most of the bioactive compounds are so if you were to remove the skin or “juice” the berry, you’d lose these and the fiber benefits as well. 

What Dogs Should Not Eat Cranberries & Why: Cranberries do contain simple sugars, so they aren’t a snack to feed daily to an inactive or obese dog. A diabetic dog wouldn’t be an ideal candidate to consume copious amounts of cranberries either.

Dogs who deal with calcium oxalate stones should refrain from having cranberries added to their bowl because cranberries contain oxalates. Feeding cranberries to a dog who is prone to, or suffers from this type of stone may have their condition exacerbated if fed cranberries. 

Fermented Cream: Fermented cream is also sometimes called cultured cream. The fermented/cultured cream from goat milk is classified as a naturally fermented food (NFF) & it offers gut support via live bacteria. The fermented cream is about 96%-99% lactose free & contains bioactive compounds, including as many as 30 strains of “good” bacteria. Kefir grains are used to ferment the cream & those grains feed off of the lactose it contains. Lactose is a two part disaccharide sugar and the fermentation process breaks the lactose down by using virtually all of it.

How to Get the Cream: Allow the cream to rise to the top of the raw goat milk and then carefully spoon it out. It takes some patience.

*A cheat is to use store bought cream but it is important to note that the bacteria diversity and amount will be different than of the fermented cream from raw goat milk.

How to Ferment Cream: Add kefir grains to the raw cream and ferment as you would milk kefir. Don’t let it go too long or you will have a terrible time fishing your kefir grains out of the fermented cream. Learn About Kefir Grains Here

Some Science: In a 2015 study published in Frontiers in Microbiology, kefir grains were recognized as a potential source of probiotics & molecules with several health properties. According to the authors, “Its biological properties suggest its use as an antioxidant, antitumor agent, antimicrobial agent, & an immunomodulator, among other roles.”

Beneficial Bacteria, Fat, Antioxidants, & Fiber: Fermented cream is working with the cranberries and goat milk to make this summer functional food snack, a powerhouse of refreshing goodness. 

Cranberry Ice Cream for the Dog Days of Summer Recipe

Ingredients:

16 oz of Raw Goat Milk

8 oz of Raw Cranberries

8 oz of Fermented Cream

Supplies:

High Powered Blender

Glass Storage Container with a Lid

Serving Spoon

Instructions:

Add the raw goat milk and raw cranberries to the blender and turn it on medium-high allowing it to fully mix. 

Add the fermented cream to the blender and turn it on low-medium. Allow it to mix thoroughly. 

Pour the mixture into the glass container, cover it, and put it in the freezer overnight. 

Serving Information:

Serving size is dog dependent. Some dogs do well with probiotics and fiber, while others do not. It is best to start with a small serving.

I feed a 15 g serving to all three of my Labrador Retrievers who range in weight from 55 lbs. to 90 lbs…. I may give them a little more if they smile big for me. 😉

References

Milk Kefir: Composition, Microbial Cultures, Biological Activities, And Related Products, Frontiers In Microbiology, October 2013

AFPA Holistic Nutritionist Course Curriculum

Cranberry Products Inhibit Adherence of P-Fimbriated Escherichia Coli, The Journal of Urology, 2007

Cranberries and Their Bioactive Constituents in Human Health, Advances in Nutrition, Volume 4, Issue 6, November 2013

Antioxidant and Urinary Tract Support, Amy Granillo, June 2019

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