My latest tryout is Polenta and to my surprise both human and poodles were delighted, with licked plates each time. (Yes humans too). And most importantly for me it fits with the ‘easy peasy’ philosophy for fast, delicious and nutritious dinners. In case you didn’t know, Polenta is from maize (which is dried corn) and I used the instant version; cooking from scratch would be better but I don’t take 45mins to stir something through the week. I will try it sometime though. Polenta is a northern Italian staple, and used in place of pasta frequently.
There is much talk on the internet about corn being bad for dogs, and this stems from the Petfood industry relying on cheap calories. Corn is very plentiful in the USA and is used not only for feeding humans high fructose corn syrup (very bad) but feeding livestock as well, and dogfood falls into this latter category. Petfood often uses the protein in grain to meet their protein requirements (set by AAFCO) rather than animal protein. In a nutshell, this leads to a diet very reliant on a product such as corn (because it has relatively high protein) and dogs just aren’t meant to eat that much of one thing, nor that much grain.
However, like all things, in moderation it is a great food to add to the dinner for variety. About 25%-30% of the meal as carbohydrate is a good ratio.
Corn kernels will pretty much pass through the dog’s digestion without being absorbed, it needs to be broken down to be utilised. Polenta fits that bill well.
I make it a little differently to the convention. Less liquid and using Chicken stock instead of milk.
1. Ratio of 1:3 so for every cup of polenta you need 3 cups of liquid.
2. Bring chicken stock to boil.
3. Add polenta and stir briskly over heat till it thickens.
4. Add butter – stir, add parmesan and stir.
5. That’s it. Add a little salt and pepper (check – if your stock has salt in it already you may not need more salt.)
I found this thickness suited the dogs very well, as it formed into pieces rather than a more liquid, softer mash. We had it this way for dinner one night then rested the rest in a tray in the fridge to thicken more. Cut into squares and pan fried with a little olive oil was even more delicious. Sprinkle with more parmesan cheese when serving.
Lamb mince, polenta (made as above), broccoli, zucchini. Wellbeing Essentials to make that nutritional bridge to meet their needs.