Amaranth: Your Dog’s Everlasting Protein

Amaranth, a beautiful plant whose seed is the size of a period at the end of this sentence. The most notable nutritional quality of amaranth is its protein content. With a protein composition of 15% after cooked (29% uncooked), the Greek interpreted this high quality protein as “Everlasting”. Domesticated more than 5,000 years ago in Mexico, amaranth was once the sacred food of the Aztecs. It was both consumed and used in religious ceremonies, and also believed by the Aztecs to give them their strength. When Cortez and the Spanish conquistadors arrived, the Aztec fields of amaranth were burned. Considering one amaranth plant can yield over 50,000 seeds, the amaranth plant survived, still yielding its seeds today!

Boost Your Dog’s Calcium and Protein with Amaranth’s Gluten-Free Seeds

That’s right. Amaranth, just like quinoa, is a seed. It is not a grain. It is also gluten-free and extraordinarily nutritious. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization has encouraged amaranth’s use since 1967 because wherever amaranth is consumed there is little or no malnutrition. Not only is amaranth a healthy source of both protein, it is higher than milk in both calcium and protein, and a complete protein. Further, because it is a whole seed where the hull is left intact, it contains all those wonderful B Vitamins and fiber.

Vitamin E Source for Your Dog

Amaranth is a good source of polyunsaturated fatty acids and contains vitamin E in similar amounts to olive oil. Vitamin E helps improve the texture of your dog’s coat and skin and can also help support the immune system. 

How to Cook Amaranth and How Much to Feed Your Dog

First, always buy organic. To cook, it is a simple ratio of 3 cups water to 1 cup amaranth. However, let the seeds soak in the pot of water for one hour before cooking, just to tenderize the hull. Next, bring to a boil, cover, simmer for 20 to 25 minutes until the water is completely absorbed. You can always substitute water with broth (how about bone broth?), but careful with canned broths due to their sodium content. For an average sized dog, adding a few tablespoons of cooked amaranth to their mealtime would be a nice nutrient boost.

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