All ready to celebrate Duan Wu with your favourite dumplings, but not quite prepared to take care of the bloating afterwards?

Rice dumplings (aka Zongzi 粽子 in Chinese) are commonly found throughout Southeast Asia in both savoury and sweet versions. They are traditionally eaten during Duan Wu Festival (端午节 in Chinese) on the fifth day of the fifth month of the lunar calendar. 

Traditional rice dumplings are mainly made with glutinous rice for its sticky texture. Though it is a common staple in the Asian diet, it is not a diabetic-friendly grain and it is hard to be digested in the body. For folks who have digestive issues, some discomfort of bloating may even be experienced after eating the rice dumpling.

Research has shown that ‘glutinous rice has the highest glycemic index among all the other types of rice, as it lacks a component of starch known as amylose*. Hence it causes a short-term spike in your blood sugar once consumed and gets digested quickly – causing you to get hungry much faster.

Fret not, you can still make your rice dumplings this festive season without using glutinous rice! Instead, go for the tiny yet mighty whole grain —— organic glutinous millet, that is equally if not more delicious. 

Millet is a common staple for millions of people in China, Japan, Africa and India. Having a mild taste with a nutty flavour, they come in many varieties and colours, including yellow, black, brown, white and red. The most common variety is the yellow millet. But there are other regular and glutinous varieties which result in a sticky like texture, making it extremely suitable for rice dumpling making.

Glutinous millet is considered a type of functional food as it is rich in health-promoting phytochemicals, also it is a type of whole grain which has an impressive nutrition profile.

The tiny yet mighty grain is gluten-free, high in protein and a good source of essential amino acids. Rich in iron (for red blood cell formation), calcium (for strong bone and teeth) and B vitamins (for energy, healthy brain function and cell metabolism), this grain contains a high amount of lecithin which provides excellent support for the nervous system.

From the TCM perspective, the glutinous millet is considered a mild tonic food ingredient, displaying a nourishing effect on the body. This grain is warm in property, has the effects of replenishing ‘qi’ and is able to strengthen the spleen and stomach.

Cooking tip:

Like lentils and grains, raw glutinous millet can be soaked and sprouted before cooking to improve the nutritional profiles and flavour. It is also easier to be cooked due to the smaller grain size.

Check out ZENXIN’s Signature Eight Treasure Healthy Dumpling made with organic glutinous millet and other wholesome organic ingredients for a guilt-free indulgence this Duan Wu festival!

Get the recipe here!

Information adapted from:

  • Frontiers in Plant Sciences-Proso Millet (Panicum miliaceum L.) and Its Potential for Cultivation in the Pacific Northwest, U.S.: A Review

*Note: The lower the amylose starch content, the higher the glycemic index.