Farm Dog Naturals review and giveaway

I met up recently with Rita Hogan, cofounder of Farm Dog Naturals, an all-natural, all-vegan line of herbal dog care products. I got to test some of the products and I’m also offering a giveaway so you can try them too!

Farm Dog products

Farm Dog Naturals offers safe, effective herbal remedies for dogs. All products are natural, sustainable (herbs are grown on a local herb farm), free of animal products and GMOs. I love supporting small businesses with ethical practices, so I was thrilled to take home a sampling of their wares.

Farm Dog odor control products

Relief is a pet urine and odor remover–and it smells like lavender! It’s ideal for removing (not masking) odors left from accidents. I sprayed it on Frankie’s dog bed and in the litter boxes. A few spritzes in my car got rid of the dog odor in there. Frankie wanted to help test the product too so, as if on cue, he rolled around in bird poop. I wiped him off and deodorized him! That’s how gentle and safe the products are. Of course I kept the spray away from his eyes.

Relief is sold in a 24 oz bottle with a small amount of concentrated formula in it. Just add water and you’ve got your supply. When you need more, you can order a refill–the concentrate in a small bottle. Farm Dog encourages reusing containers (plus, it cuts down on shipping costs). Brilliant!

Rejoice is a smudge stick handcrafted from California white sage. I lit my stick and waved it around to get rid of kitty litter odors and what I call “old dog smell.” It’s great for getting rid of cooking odors too.

Farm Dog salves

Salvation and Restore are two salves that every dog should have. Salvation soothes irritated skin and sore paw and is great for tender ears and crusty noses. It speeds healing and hair regrowth and helps heal topical yeast in ears, wrinkles and in between toes. Restore is great for wounds, hot spots, itchy skin, flea dermatitis, and lick granulomas. It stops itching on contact.

I love that there are natural products for common issues that we often run to the vet for. Why put a dog on antibiotics, steroids, or other harsher regiments? I personally don’t like to go to the doctor for every little thing. Having a few safe tricks in my pocket to help my dog (and help him avoid the vet) is wonderful.

Farm Dog stress reliever

Relax is a stress and anxiety remedy that is applied directly to a dog’s ear flaps and neck. It’s great for nervous dogs, especially before fireworks, thunderstorms, a trip to the vet, or when company comes over.

I really appreciate their minimal packaging and how 2% of each sale goes toward a tree-planting initiative at Sound Forest.

Farm Dogs was founded in 2007 by two like-minded women. Rita, whom I met with, was working in pug rescue in Tennessee when she met Lynn, the owner of an all-natural dog supply store and dog wash. They had similar needs for natural, sustainable dog products and decided to fill the void themselves.

Giveaway

To enter the giveaway, like or comment on this post, on the Instagram write-up, on my Facebook page or tweet @jeaniebellini and tell me why you’d like to try Farm Dog Naturals (use the hashtag #Farmdognaturals in your tweet).

Farm Dog giveaway

On June 5th, 2014, I’ll randomly select a winner from the entries and I’ll send the winner the sample package: a 4 oz bottle of Relief, a mini Rejoice smudge stick, 1 oz jar of Salvation, a 1 oz jar of Restore, and a 1 oz container of Relax. Open to US residents.

If you don’t win, you can look for Farm Dog Naturals at one of the retailers listed on their site, or order directly from Farm Dog Naturals.

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Craving grilled cheese

There’s a saying, “Anything you can eat, I can eat vegan.”

I like that expression. It shows that vegan eating doesn’t equal deprivation. It’s also a fun challenge. Case in point: grilled cheese. Cheese is probably the hardest thing to give up–at least it was for me. But you don’t have to give up anything. Well, you might still be addicted to casomorphins, but you won’t be missing comfort foods like grilled cheese sandwiches!

I recently made a deliciously melty grilled cheese using a cheddar-style wedge of Daiya. You can also buy cheddar-style slices if you prefer.

Daiya

I used a hearty bread by Dave’s Killer Bread, and “buttered” it with Earth Balance vegan margarine. Grill it up like you would with regular grilled cheese. Daiya melts like real cheese and is a delicious gooey treat. It’s gluten-free and soy-free so it’s a great choice for people with common allergies.

grilled cheese

Slice and serve with your favorite soup. I made butternut squash but it would be equally delicious with minestrone or tomato. Yum! It’s a great lunch for kids and adults alike.

soup and a sandwich

Vegan banana muffins

When I received my jars of Nasoya for the recipe challenge, I thought I’d be trying the products in a savory way (the mock tuna salad). I had no idea I could use a mayo substitute in a dessert.

I found a banana muffin recipe on the Nasoya site and it called for Nayonaise. Perfect! Like Nayo Whipped, it’s a healthy, vegan product and a great source of B12 and omega 3s. How would it fare in muffins?

muffins in tin

Well, awesome! It was a simple recipe that called for ingredients that even me, a very occasional baker, already had in my cupboard.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Nasoya Nayonaise Original Spread
  • 1 cup mashed bananas (2 or 3 medium)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 cups flour (2/3 C whole-wheat, 1 1/3 C all-purpose)
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Optional: 1 teaspoon vanilla, chopped peacans or walnuts

Preparation Method:

In medium large bowl beat bananas. Beat in sugar and Nayonaise (add the vanilla and or nuts if using). Stir in flour, soda and salt just until moistened. Fill muffin cups and bake them in the oven at 350° F for 20 – 25 minutes.

I added chopped walnuts. And since I can’t follow a recipe to save my live, I tweaked things slightly. If cooking is an art, baking is a science. And it’s best not to mess with scientific formulas! All I had was whole wheat flour, so I used only that and no all-purpose flour.

I also know that ripe bananas are best for baking (and more nutritious!) so I made sure I had a very spotty bunch.

The muffins turned out perfectly!banana muffins

I ate two warm, right out of the oven, and so did my husband. We saved the rest for work snacks. The muffins were moist and delicious and tasted great warm and room temperature. They didn’t dry out, even on day three. We ate them rather quickly so there was no day four.

The Nayonaise essentially replaced any eggs or butter that one might use in a recipe like this. So you can have a cruelty-free, healthy snack that’s easy to make.

Mock tuna salad

I was lucky to meet a couple of people from Nasoya when I was at the vegan bloggers conference in May. I was given a friendly challenge of making a couple of recipes using their products. Challenge accepted!

Two jars arrived in the mail a few days after I said I’d try my hand at some cooking: Nayonaise and Nayo Whipped. They’re both healthy, vegan alternatives to mayo and are a great source of B12 and omega 3s.

Nasoya

For this first challenge, I tried a recipe from their site called Tu-Na Salad. I have to say, it’s was quick and easy to make. Like five minutes quick. That’s my kind of prep time!

True to my rebellious nature, I altered the recipe a bit. But only because I have fresh chives growing in my garden. So I used those instead of the green onion the original recipe called for.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp. Nayo Whipped
  • 1 (19 ounce) can of chickpeas, drained
  • Fresh dill
  • Celery, chopped
  • Green onion, chopped (chives, in my case)
  • Sea salt, to taste

Preparation:

Use a food processor or potato masher to break up the chickpeas until they are crumbled. Do NOT over process.

I mashed the chickpeas (AKA garbanzo beans) until the mixture was flaky. Just enough to break up each pea, not so much that it created a purée. I toasted some hearty bread (Dave’s Killer Bread–my fav!), spread some Nayo on it for good measure, and piled on the tu-na.

mashing chick peas

Wow! Was it ever delicious! The Nayo Whipped is tangy and lemony and added a great flavor to the topping. I’m going to use this recipe regularly from now on. I haven’t had actual tuna in a lo-ong time, but I’m pretty sure this wouldn’t fool someone in a blind taste test. It does, however, hold its own as a great tuna substitute. True test: hubby. He loved it too–and had seconds!

tu-na sandwiches

Next time I’ll stuff this blend in a pita or roll it in a wrap and add tomatoes and lettuce. Mmm.

This recipe makes enough for four sandwiches. Let me know if you try it. And come back soon for a little Nasoya giveaway I’m planning!