Are you trying to curb your grains like I am? I’ve been on this health journey for a while, trying to figure out how to balance my Italian blood (which is very similar to ragù) and my gut health. But I’m no saint, and I often get these cravings for real pasta that are so hard to resist! And when it comes to specific kinds of pasta, it’s even worse because it’s so hard to find something store-bought that can fool my genuine Italian palate. That’s why I started making my own Paleo Sweet Potato Gnocchi. They are 100% gluten-free, grain-free and nightshade-free. Ta-dah!
NUTRITIOUS SWEET POTATO GNOCCHI
As I’m wont to say over and over again, I can’t stand empty calories. I don’t care how delicious something is, it must have a high nutritious level or I’d rather pass. It’s not a pet-peeve, it’s about making each calorie count. It’s quality vs. quantity. I know many women who count calories better than a calculator, so quick and efficient because they’re obsessed. But I believe that the energy they spend on that should actually go to assessing the nutrient density of the food on their plate. Nutrient density is one of the main reasons why I choose to make Sweet Potato Gnocchi made with Cassava Flour instead of having the regular store-bought kind, which is made with wheat flour and regular potatoes plus preservatives to keep the gnocchi “fresh”.
The other two reasons are: they’re super easy and simple to make; they’re freakin’ delicious!!
POTATO VS. SWEET POTATO
Why are sweet potatoes a superfood? As we now know, not all carbs are created equal. Even though on the surface regular potato and sweet potato seem like pretty much the same thing, the truth is they don’t even belong to the same family. Regular potatoes are nightshades, or Solanaceae, while sweet potatoes are from the morning glory family, or Convolvulaceae. Because of this difference, regular potatoes are on the forbidden list for people on AIP (Autoimmune Protocol Diet), while sweet potatoes are allowed. The reason being nightshades contain compounds that can increase intestinal permeability, thus worsening the condition known as “leaky gut”. For more on the subject, I recommend reading what Dr. Sarah Ballantyne has to say on her blog. She also explains why “Nightshades can be problematic for many people due to their lectin, saponin and/or capsaicin content”, not just those of us who already have diagnosed autoimmune diseases. Also, in spite of having more sugar, sweet potatoes have a lower Glycemic Index than regular potatoes. Other nutrition differences between the two vegetables are listed in the graphic below, which I prepared just for you with much love 💚
HOW TO MAKE PALEO SWEET POTATO GNOCCHI
So, now you know that these gnocchi are nutrition-packed, made with gluten-free and grain-free flour. Let’s get the ingredients and make the dough.
That’s it! Just 3 ingredients:
- Cassava Flour (I use this cassava flour for gnocchi; the finest and perfect to make pasta!)
- Sweet Potato
AIP TIP: If you are off eggs, feel free to leave them out. Adjust the ratio of the sweet potato and add more salt (I only add a pinch in my recipe, which is optional). I have reintroduced eggs successfully, so they are not a problem for me at the moment.
To make the dough, first boil the sweet potato, mash it and let it cool off. Then place all the ingredients in a food processor and blend until you have a ball of dough. It’s that simple!
Once the dough is ready, dust a flat surface with flour and divide the ball into 4 pieces. Make “snakes” with each piece of dough, about ¾ of an inch thick. With a butter knife, cut each “snake” into 1″ pieces. If you have the time and patience, make grooves with the back of a fork on the sides of the gnocchi (one side or both sides). It’ll add a nice touch and will allow the sauce to stick to the gnocchi more easily.
WATCH HOW TO MAKE SWEET POTATO GNOCCHI
That’s how easy it is! You can dress them in any sauce you like.
I first sauted them with bacon, sage and shallots, then smothered them in my own homemade Pesto di Zucca made with roasted Butternut Squash. Check out that amazing recipe! In the meantime, I leave you with the full recipe for these delicious and nutritious Paleo Gnocchi.
PALEO SWEET POTATO GNOCCHI
- 1 Mashed Sweet Potato Medium / Large
- 1 Egg Large
- 1 cup Cassava Flour Heaping
- 1 pinch Himalayan Salt
- Add ingredients to food processor and blend until you have a ball of dough (it takes seconds)
- Dusting with flour as needed, handle the dough on a flat surface and divide the ball into 4 pieces. Make "snakes" with each piece of dough, about ¾ of an inch thick. With a butter knife, cut each "snake" into 1" pieces
- Optional: Make grooves with the back of a fork on the sides of the gnocchi (one side or both sides). It'll add a nice touch and will allow the sauce to stick to the gnocchi more easily
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the gnocchi and let cook until they float to the surface
- Remove the gnocchi from the pot, making sure they are well drained
- Add the gnocchi to your favorite sauce and enjoy!
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