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Low-Carb Cauliflower Gnocchi

5 stars, average of 11 ratings

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Love gnocchi but can't have them on a keto diet? Just like pasta, these traditional Italian potato dumplings have long been on my readers' wish list, and I've got recipes for pasta dishes too!

I've been working on this recipe for weeks and I finally got a batch worth sharing. These keto gnocchi were more challenging to develop than keto spaghetti noodles which were not my original invention.

I've tested a total of seven batches of these keto gnocchi, more or less with the same ingredients but different amounts and techniques. My advice is that you do not use substitutions as I can't guarantee the same results. If there are any ingredients you can't use, ask me in the comments below and I'll do my best to help. There will be more variations to follow so keep an eye on any new recipes.

How To Make Low-Carb Cauliflower Gnocchi

We're using good old cauliflower as the best vegetable alternative to starchy potatoes. But cauliflower has a high water content so I cooked it and then drained as much water from it as possible. You will also want to avoid using any other liquids and wet ingredients to keep the dough from getting too moist. That's why I used egg powder instead of fresh egg. If you use fresh egg, you'll end up with mushy dough that will be impossible to work with.

I wanted to make sure these low-carb gnocchi taste savory so I avoided the usual low-carb options which include almond flour and coconut flour. That's why I used fine lupin flour.

The last key ingredients are bamboo fiber (or bamboo flour) xanthan gum which are both zero-carb. Bamboo fiber, which is very light, tasteless and odorless, is the ingredient that makes the dough thick and pliable without making it too dense. I haven't tested substitutions for bamboo fiber but I think you could try using 2 to 3 tablespoons of psyllium powder instead.

Finally, I cooked these keto gnocchi in butter which adds fantastic flavor. If you are lactose intolerant, try ghee or extra virgin olive oil instead.

How To Serve Keto Cauliflower Gnocchi

These Keto Gnocchi are not as chewy and moist as traditional potato gnocchi so it's best to always serve them with some sauce. Then add proteins, herbs and cheese and you are good to go! Try some of these options:

  • Easy Marinara Sauce — tastes like the best pizza sauce you've ever tried!
  • Keto Cheese Sauce if you prefer a creamier, more satisfying sauce.
  • cooked chicken, prawns or meatballs like these Marinara Meatballs for extra protein
  • grated cheese, especially Parmesan, Pecorino and Swiss cheese for protein and flavor
  • cooked vegetables such as bell peppers, tomatoes, spinach, zucchini or aubergine for flavor and bulk
  • fresh herbs such as basil, chives, parsley or thyme

Do They Taste Like Real Gnocchi?

A full disclaimer before you make these keto gnocchi. They do look close to traditional gnocchi but they do not taste the same way. The texture is less chewy, less moist and the flavor is different. As long as you don't set your expectations too high, they're a good alternative to potato gnocchi.

As for portion size, you won't need a lot. Compared to traditional potato gnocchi, these are a lot more satisfying so you won't need a large bowl to feel satisfied.

Finally, keep in mind that there are potential GI/tummy issues. If you are sensitive to lupin flour (or legumes in general), you may want to avoid this recipe altogether. If this is your case, I'll be sharing more keto gnocchi recipes in the next few months so stay tuned!

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Hands-on Overall

Serving size 140 g/ 5 oz

Allergy information for Low-Carb Cauliflower Gnocchi

✔  Gluten free
✔  Nut free
✔  Nightshade free
✔  Pork free
✔  Avocado free
✔  Coconut free
✔  Fish free
✔  Shellfish free
✔  Beef free
Pescatarian
Vegetarian

Nutritional values (per serving, 140 g/ 5 oz)

Net carbs6.1 grams
Protein20.8 grams
Fat16.2 grams
Calories283 kcal
Calories from carbs 10%, protein 33%, fat 57%
Total carbs30.8 gramsFiber24.7 gramsSugars4.1 gramsSaturated fat8.2 gramsSodium696 mg(30% RDA)Magnesium80 mg(20% RDA)Potassium780 mg(39% EMR)

Ingredients (makes 5 servings)

Instructions

  1. Cut the cauliflower into small florets. Place the florets in a steamer or a pot filled with boiling water and cook for 12 to 15 minutes. Remove the lid and let the steam escape while it cools down. Low-Carb Cauliflower Gnocchi
  2. When cool enough to touch, place the cauliflower florets in a cheesecloth or nut milk bag. Twist and turn to squeeze as much water out as you can. An 800 g (1.76 lb) cauliflower should yield 450 to 500 grams ( 1 to 1.1 lbs) or drained cauliflower.
  3. Grate the cheese and measure out all of the remaining ingredients. Low-Carb Cauliflower Gnocchi
  4. Place the drained cauliflower, lupin flour, parmesan cheese, egg powder, xanthan gum and salt into a blender. Process until smooth dough forms. Low-Carb Cauliflower Gnocchi
  5. Transfer to a bowl and slowly work in the bamboo fiber with a rubber spatula, a tablespoon at a time. Cover with a cling film and place in the fridge for an hour or overnight. Low-Carb Cauliflower Gnocchi
  6. When ready, tip the dough on a rolling mat. Wet your hands and form a small log. Starting from the middle, cut the log into eight roughly equal pieces. Low-Carb Cauliflower Gnocchi
  7. Sprinkle a small amount of the leftover lupin flour on the mat (silicon mats are easy to work with). Using both of your hands, roll the dough into 8 long thin strands, 40 cm (16 inch) each, sprinkling with lupin flour as you roll each one of them. Low-Carb Cauliflower Gnocchi
  8. Cut into small pieces, about 2 1/2 cm (1 inch) each. Use a gnocchi board to roll each piece, pressing as you go. This will create the traditional decorative embossed pattern.
    Note: If you don't have a gnocchi board, use the back of a dinner fork, holding it at a 90 degree angle with the tips of the tines touching the chopping board. Roll each piece of the dough down the tines to create the same embossed pattern. If you don't plan to cook them immediately, the raw "gnocchi" can be kept in the fridge for up to 4 days. Low-Carb Cauliflower Gnocchi
  9. To cook the gnocchi, grease a medium-large skillet with 1 to 2 tablespoons of butter. Once hot (the gnocchi should sizzle as you add them), add about a quarter of the gnocchi, or as many as you can fit in one layer. Cook on medium heat until golden and then flip on the other side. You should be cooking them for 6 to 8 minutes per each side. Low-Carb Cauliflower Gnocchi
  10. Once cooked, remove from the heat and keep warm. Cook the remaining gnocchi, greasing the pan as needed between each batch. Store in the fridge for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 6 months. Low-Carb Cauliflower Gnocchi
  11. Serve just like you would gnocchi — with pasta sauces, cooked chicken or shrimps, cooked veggies, fresh herbs and grated parmesan. (Check recipe tips above for suggestions.) Low-Carb Cauliflower Gnocchi

Ingredient nutritional breakdown (per serving, 140 g/ 5 oz)

Net carbsProteinFatCalories
Cauliflower, fresh
4.8 g3.1 g0.4 g40 kcal
Lupin Flour (Lupina)
1 g12 g2 g74 kcal
Parmesan cheese
0.3 g3.2 g2.3 g35 kcal
Whole egg powder
0.1 g2.4 g2.2 g30 kcal
Xanthan gum, thickening agent
0 g0 g0 g4 kcal
Salt, sea salt
0 g0 g0 g0 kcal
Bamboo fiber
0 g0 g0 g20 kcal
Butter, unsalted, grass-fed
0 g0.1 g9.2 g81 kcal
Total per serving, 140 g/ 5 oz
6.1 g20.8 g16.2 g283 kcal

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Martina Slajerova
Creator of KetoDietApp.com

Martina Slajerova

I changed the way I ate in 2011, when I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s, an autoimmune disease that affects the thyroid. I had no energy, and I found it more and more difficult to maintain a healthy weight.

That’s when I decided to quit sugar, grains, and processed foods, and to start following a whole-foods-based ketogenic approach to food.

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Comments (4)

Bamboo fiber--I am INTRIGUED!  There isn't a whole lot about it on the web (unless you can decipher Greek), so please tell us more about this stuff.  For instance, can it replace coconut flour and/or psyllium (since it seems to act the same way), and what about the potential toxins in it (https://www.greekgoesketo.com/keto-ingredients/)?  Apparently, people have been writing on the web about using it as far back as 2018 (as far as I can find), but it hasn't really come to the forefront of the keto recipe space...until this.  Please PLEASE tell us more so we can catch up!

I think I can do that, my partner is Greek 😊 Based on what I found it's pure fibre, mostly soluble fibre. I tested the effects on blood sugar and had no spike after eating a serving of the gnocchi. I'll find some more info and write a post. It's very different from anything else I've tried because it's extremely light. For instance, 1 1/4 cups of coconut flour is about 150 grams and 1 1/4 cups of bamboo fibre is just 50 grams. It's not as absorbent as psyllium powder either. I'll need to test it against the other baking substitutes and try a few more recipes.
As for the website, be careful because there's lots of opinion based pieces but I couldn't find almost any links to research papers, most links go to other articles. Many of the claims are nutrition myths or opinions presented as facts.
For example, IMOs are not a good sweetener option but not for the reason listed in the article (they cause blood sugar spikes). Whoever wrote this had lack of chemistry and biochemistry knowledge, and the assumption that all people have the same biology and can't tolerate the same foods is just wrong. The truth is that what is unhealthy for one may not be unhealthy for others. This article has some info about the whole superfood/toxic food mindset: The Truth About Flax and Other “Superfoods” & “Toxic” Foods
As for the bamboo mention, not all bamboo is created equal and it definitely depends on the source and process. As far as I know, the toxin is only an issue in raw whole bamboo shoots. I'm not sure how it applies to cooked fibre only. Having said that, I do not know all the answers about bamboo and I'll share my thoughts when I have enough evidence.

not all bamboo is created equal and it definitely depends on the source and process.
Otherwise, dead pandas would be piling up, right?

I think in case of pandas this could be the fact that what may be hurting humans won't necessarily be hurting them. They have a very different digestive system. Some animals are known to consume foods that are toxic to other animals and humans.