There has been a recent explosion in popularity of "ancient grains" in the American food market. Typically agreed to include amaranth, barley, bulgur, buckwheat, kamut, millet, spelt, teff and quinoa, these nutritional powerhouses are a staple in health food markets across the country. I found proof that ancient grains had officially hit the mainstream when I was browsing the cereal aisle at my local grocery store and stumbled upon a box of the new Cheerios & Ancient Grains cereal.
Ancient grains are perceived as the opposite of modern wheat, which is often heavily refined. They are viewed as more healthy, more natural and better for us, because they are rarely eaten in processed form. Many of the grains are also gluten-free, or at least low in gluten, which more and more consumers are demanding.
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Ancient grains can also be highly beneficial to our pets. They are high in fiber, rich in protein, and packed with life-sustaining amino acids. They contain a broad spectrum of vitamins and minerals including B vitamins, zinc, magnesium and copper. Some contain phenols, which act as natural antioxidants, as well as omega 3 and 6 essential fatty acids. Some ancient grains even act as prebiotics and can be soothing to the digestive system, plus they help to maintain steady blood sugar levels.
Hill’s® understands that quality nutrition is important to pet parents, and that's why they created their new Ideal Balance® CRAFTED line using the same ingredients you would see in high-end, healthy human foods: high quality meats, wholesome vegetables and ancient grains.
Crafted's Carefully Selected Creation Process:
1) Carefully Selected: First, they begin with thoughtfully-sourced, select proteins and vegetables which are blended with distinctive ingredients like barley and chickpeas to create unique, flavorful recipes.
2) Crafted with Care: For dry cat food, craftsmen make sure all the ingredients are carefully mixed. The ingredient mix is then added to the dough and is now ready for cooking. For wet cat foods, broths, starches and flavorings are whisked together in a kettle, select meats and dry ingredients are prepared separately with the utmost care.
3) Gently Cooked: The meat, gravy and vegetables for wet cat foods are combined in mixers the same way you would make a stew. Then it’s canned and slow-cooked to lock in flavor and nutrition. For dry cat foods, the dough is gently cooked to lock in flavor and nutrition. It’s cut into crispy, custom-shaped kibble that cat’s love.
I can personally attest that Truffles has been eating the Grain-Free Herbed Chicken & Chickpeas recipe for a month now and she absolutely adores it. A sample of the canned Chicken Pot Pie with Buckwheat is currently on it's way to us and we're looking forward to trying that as well. (Is it weird that the flavors make my own mouth water???)
As much as I would love to cook for Truffles at home, I simply don't have the time or the knowledge. That's why I'm happy to have companies like Hill's around with a team of highly trained veterinary nutritionists who deliver the ultimate in nutrition that is as close to homemade as possible.