Tortoise Cookies (winter prep/treats)

Bambam1989

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 15, 2017
Messages
3,127
Location (City and/or State)
East Texas
Many of us tort keepers have already started preparing for winter feeding. I have begun making something that I call "Tortoise Cookies" and thought I would share what they are and how I make them.
The concept was to create a flavor combination that would be very appetizing for my tort while still being HEALTHY! The end goal is to create several variations that I can add to the fresh food that is available during winter to help create a more balanced diet.
This is the third batch that I have made and I took a few pics of the process to give anyone interested an idea of how to make it.
Here we go..

For this batch of cookies I used-
A medium sized Opuntia cactus pad
Hosta leaves
Squash leaves, stems, and a handful of blossoms
Sow Thistle
Various types of grasses
Smaller amounts of nipplewort, zinnia, and snapdragon

Sounds like some fairly yummy tort foods!

I then gradually fed my ingredients into my food processor. I blended it all up until I felt like I wasn't going to get it any finer. The results look like this..
Foodpuree.jpg

O yes that looks yummy..

I then divided it roughly in half and put each half on a nonstick mat and rack for my dehydrator (if you don't have a nonstick mat or a dehydrator then you can use parchment paper and your oven on its lowest setting)
foodprep.jpg

Ok, that just looks like someone already ate it and just came out the other end... better sample the "batter" and make sure it is ok!

battersample.jpg
battersample2.jpg
battersample3.jpg

I guess it was good..
Continuing on..
Spread your batter out as thin as you can get it without creating holes in it, like this
foodprep2.jpg
Then dehydrate it for several hours (I set my dehydrator to 135F) after 4 hours I would start checking it hourly. Its ready once it will cleanly peel from the mat. If it still tries to stick or come apart then leave it longer. The actual time will depend on what your "ingredients" are. This batch took almost 7 hours but that was largely because of the cactus. Here it is completely dehydrated.
foodprep3.jpg

Now its time to cut your cookies. The size you choose is completely up to you.

foodprep4.jpg
foodprep5.jpg

Now that they are done, the finished product has to be tested.

cookietest.jpg

The firmness should help encourage a healthy beak. If it does seem to be to hard for your tort you can always dip it in water to soften them slightly or let them soak for a minute to return them to mush.
They are such a huge hit with Clunker! Other than a great winter supplement, they make delicious treats. Not as tasty as Mazuri though!
 

wellington

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Have you tried just freezing it? Maybe using one of those food bag sealers that sucks the air out and seals the bag, then freezing?
Thanks for sharing. I usually just air dry my winter foods. I might just try this with some of it.
 

Bambam1989

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Joined
Aug 15, 2017
Messages
3,127
Location (City and/or State)
East Texas
Have you tried just freezing it? Maybe using one of those food bag sealers that sucks the air out and seals the bag, then freezing?
Thanks for sharing. I usually just air dry my winter foods. I might just try this with some of it.
I tried freezing chopped plants last winter. He did not care for it. I couldn't even get him to eat squash leaves after they were frozen. It was very unusual since he is very open with his food.
I'm not sure what the issue was and I will be freezing some plants for this winter to try again.
 

ascott

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5 Year Member
Joined
Apr 10, 2011
Messages
16,147
Location (City and/or State)
Apple Valley, California
Many of us tort keepers have already started preparing for winter feeding. I have begun making something that I call "Tortoise Cookies" and thought I would share what they are and how I make them.
The concept was to create a flavor combination that would be very appetizing for my tort while still being HEALTHY! The end goal is to create several variations that I can add to the fresh food that is available during winter to help create a more balanced diet.
This is the third batch that I have made and I took a few pics of the process to give anyone interested an idea of how to make it.
Here we go..

For this batch of cookies I used-
A medium sized Opuntia cactus pad
Hosta leaves
Squash leaves, stems, and a handful of blossoms
Sow Thistle
Various types of grasses
Smaller amounts of nipplewort, zinnia, and snapdragon

Sounds like some fairly yummy tort foods!

I then gradually fed my ingredients into my food processor. I blended it all up until I felt like I wasn't going to get it any finer. The results look like this..
View attachment 244510

O yes that looks yummy..

I then divided it roughly in half and put each half on a nonstick mat and rack for my dehydrator (if you don't have a nonstick mat or a dehydrator then you can use parchment paper and your oven on its lowest setting)
View attachment 244511

Ok, that just looks like someone already ate it and just came out the other end... better sample the "batter" and make sure it is ok!

View attachment 244512
View attachment 244514
View attachment 244515

I guess it was good..
Continuing on..
Spread your batter out as thin as you can get it without creating holes in it, like this
View attachment 244516
Then dehydrate it for several hours (I set my dehydrator to 135F) after 4 hours I would start checking it hourly. Its ready once it will cleanly peel from the mat. If it still tries to stick or come apart then leave it longer. The actual time will depend on what your "ingredients" are. This batch took almost 7 hours but that was largely because of the cactus. Here it is completely dehydrated.
View attachment 244517

Now its time to cut your cookies. The size you choose is completely up to you.

View attachment 244518
View attachment 244519

Now that they are done, the finished product has to be tested.

View attachment 244520

The firmness should help encourage a healthy beak. If it does seem to be to hard for your tort you can always dip it in water to soften them slightly or let them soak for a minute to return them to mush.
They are such a huge hit with Clunker! Other than a great winter supplement, they make delicious treats. Not as tasty as Mazuri though!

That was super awesome....I thoroughly enjoyed that. Thank you :)
 

Bambam1989

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 15, 2017
Messages
3,127
Location (City and/or State)
East Texas
I’m gonna have to try these! Are there alternatives to a dehydrator?
Yes. Use a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Set your oven temp as close to 135F as you can. Lots of ovens won't go below 200 or 150 and that's fine.
Leave the door to your oven slightly cracked to allow air flow
 

CarolM

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 30, 2017
Messages
19,472
Location (City and/or State)
South Africa - Cape Town
Many of us tort keepers have already started preparing for winter feeding. I have begun making something that I call "Tortoise Cookies" and thought I would share what they are and how I make them.
The concept was to create a flavor combination that would be very appetizing for my tort while still being HEALTHY! The end goal is to create several variations that I can add to the fresh food that is available during winter to help create a more balanced diet.
This is the third batch that I have made and I took a few pics of the process to give anyone interested an idea of how to make it.
Here we go..

For this batch of cookies I used-
A medium sized Opuntia cactus pad
Hosta leaves
Squash leaves, stems, and a handful of blossoms
Sow Thistle
Various types of grasses
Smaller amounts of nipplewort, zinnia, and snapdragon

Sounds like some fairly yummy tort foods!

I then gradually fed my ingredients into my food processor. I blended it all up until I felt like I wasn't going to get it any finer. The results look like this..
View attachment 244510

O yes that looks yummy..

I then divided it roughly in half and put each half on a nonstick mat and rack for my dehydrator (if you don't have a nonstick mat or a dehydrator then you can use parchment paper and your oven on its lowest setting)
View attachment 244511

Ok, that just looks like someone already ate it and just came out the other end... better sample the "batter" and make sure it is ok!

View attachment 244512
View attachment 244514
View attachment 244515

I guess it was good..
Continuing on..
Spread your batter out as thin as you can get it without creating holes in it, like this
View attachment 244516
Then dehydrate it for several hours (I set my dehydrator to 135F) after 4 hours I would start checking it hourly. Its ready once it will cleanly peel from the mat. If it still tries to stick or come apart then leave it longer. The actual time will depend on what your "ingredients" are. This batch took almost 7 hours but that was largely because of the cactus. Here it is completely dehydrated.
View attachment 244517

Now its time to cut your cookies. The size you choose is completely up to you.

View attachment 244518
View attachment 244519

Now that they are done, the finished product has to be tested.

View attachment 244520

The firmness should help encourage a healthy beak. If it does seem to be to hard for your tort you can always dip it in water to soften them slightly or let them soak for a minute to return them to mush.
They are such a huge hit with Clunker! Other than a great winter supplement, they make delicious treats. Not as tasty as Mazuri though!
Love it. Thanks. I am trying to get my torts used to cactus pads so that I can feed it to them more often. Our plants here in the Cape tend to be nice and juicy and more available in winter (because that is our rainy season) than they are in the summer. So I will prepare this for summer.:D
 

C. Nelson

Active Member
Joined
Nov 25, 2016
Messages
135
Location (City and/or State)
Grand Junction, CO
Many of us tort keepers have already started preparing for winter feeding. I have begun making something that I call "Tortoise Cookies" and thought I would share what they are and how I make them.
The concept was to create a flavor combination that would be very appetizing for my tort while still being HEALTHY! The end goal is to create several variations that I can add to the fresh food that is available during winter to help create a more balanced diet.
This is the third batch that I have made and I took a few pics of the process to give anyone interested an idea of how to make it.
Here we go..

For this batch of cookies I used-
A medium sized Opuntia cactus pad
Hosta leaves
Squash leaves, stems, and a handful of blossoms
Sow Thistle
Various types of grasses
Smaller amounts of nipplewort, zinnia, and snapdragon

Sounds like some fairly yummy tort foods!

I then gradually fed my ingredients into my food processor. I blended it all up until I felt like I wasn't going to get it any finer. The results look like this..
View attachment 244510

O yes that looks yummy..

I then divided it roughly in half and put each half on a nonstick mat and rack for my dehydrator (if you don't have a nonstick mat or a dehydrator then you can use parchment paper and your oven on its lowest setting)
View attachment 244511

Ok, that just looks like someone already ate it and just came out the other end... better sample the "batter" and make sure it is ok!

View attachment 244512
View attachment 244514
View attachment 244515

I guess it was good..
Continuing on..
Spread your batter out as thin as you can get it without creating holes in it, like this
View attachment 244516
Then dehydrate it for several hours (I set my dehydrator to 135F) after 4 hours I would start checking it hourly. Its ready once it will cleanly peel from the mat. If it still tries to stick or come apart then leave it longer. The actual time will depend on what your "ingredients" are. This batch took almost 7 hours but that was largely because of the cactus. Here it is completely dehydrated.
View attachment 244517

Now its time to cut your cookies. The size you choose is completely up to you.

View attachment 244518
View attachment 244519

Now that they are done, the finished product has to be tested.

View attachment 244520

The firmness should help encourage a healthy beak. If it does seem to be to hard for your tort you can always dip it in water to soften them slightly or let them soak for a minute to return them to mush.
They are such a huge hit with Clunker! Other than a great winter supplement, they make delicious treats. Not as tasty as Mazuri though!



Thank you so much! I have a dehydrator and I'm going to try this. The best part is that you can specialize the food according to your tortoise's favorites. CLUNKER is absolutely adorable as a taste tester.
 

Bambam1989

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 15, 2017
Messages
3,127
Location (City and/or State)
East Texas
Thank you so much! I have a dehydrator and I'm going to try this. The best part is that you can specialize the food according to your tortoise's favorites. CLUNKER is absolutely adorable as a taste tester.
Glad you found it inspiring. I'll pass your compliment along to Clunker, his ego cant get much bigger [emoji28]
 
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