Taiwan’s indigenous quinoa, Djulis or Hongli 紅藜

Decide to write a piece on this amazing food, since I have been in love with quinoa since 2013. The year 2013 was the year of quinoa designated by the United Nation.

We were the first to introduce this ingredient at Nonzero and collaborated with Peruvian officials to promote this ingredient. We even flown in a Peruvian chef for a month long Peruvian food promotion. So you can imagine my utter delight to find that Taiwan has its’ own indigenous variety, called Djulis in indigenous Taiwan language. In Chinese it is called Hongli (紅藜).

Taiwan quinoa from my garden, as floral arrangement.

This native crop has been eaten by Taiwanese aboriginal people for hundreds of years, who also use it to brew a traditional type of wine. The main agriculture area for this crop is in Taitung, where I live. Let me take you to see what the plant looks like and how they are grown, harvest and processed.

Djulis (Chenopodium formosanum) belongs to the Amaranthaceae family of green vegetables and pseudo-cereals, along with its close botanical relative of quinoa. Djulis is known for having a high protein and fiber content, as well as for containing eight kinds of essential amino acids. (This is all the information I could find in English, and there is a bit more info available in Chinese).

紅藜的澱粉約50%
蛋白質含量高達14%,與小麥相當,為稻米的2倍
膳食纖維高達14%,為燕麥的3倍,地瓜的7倍。
礦物質含量方面,含鈣特別豐富,高達2,523 ppm,為稻米的42倍,燕麥的23倍;鐵質與鋅的含量也很高,分為地瓜的11倍與8倍。
紅藜也含有重要的硒與鍺元素,並具有全部九種高量人體無法自行合成的必需胺基酸,例如離胺酸(lysine)、纈胺酸和組胺酸等,其離胺酸為稻米的5倍,而離胺酸可幫助鈣質吸收,促進膠原蛋白合成,幫助抗體、荷爾蒙及酵素的製造等。含有甜菜紅素(Betacyanins)、甜菜黃素(Betaxanthins)、黃酮類(Flavonoids)等抗氧化物。紅藜也有很高的抗發炎效果。

Here’s a BBC report on Djulis. http://www.bbc.com/news/av/business-38312876/taiwan-s-surprising-superfood-an-indigenous-quinoa

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *