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Cauliflower Gnocchi Nutrition – How to Make Cauliflower Gnocchi

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Cauliflower Gnocchi Nutrition – How to Make Cauliflower Gnocchi

We’re in the middle of a cauliflower renaissance right now. The cruciferous veggie is showing up in pizza crust, transforming into rice, and even masquerading as “steak”. Its latest move: cauliflower gnocchi, a gluten-free, lower-calorie, lower-carb version of your favorite Italian potato dumplings. Trader Joe’s started selling a frozen version last year, and it’s taking over on Instagram as people use the lil’ nuggets as a swap for pasta, tater tots, and home fries. #Cauliflowergnocchi appears on 9,000 posts and counting.

But is this modified gnocchi (pronounced NYOK-kee) really that healthy for you? Here’s what you need to know:

What’s in Cauliflower Gnocchi?

Trader Joe’s claims their product contains about 75% cauliflower, as well as cassava flour, potato starch, extra virgin olive oil, and sea salt. That makes it gluten- and egg-free, compared to traditional gnocchi recipes that call for mashed potatoes, flour, and eggs.

The ingredients in homemade cauliflower gnocchi recipes vary, but this version from Simply Recipes also uses potato starch and cassava flour in addition to pureed cauliflower florets, olive oil, and salt in order to bind everything together.

    Is Cauliflower Gnocchi Healthy?

    Yes, cauliflower gnocchi can be a healthier choice because it uses a vegetable that’s less starchy than potatoes, says Jaclyn London, MS, RD, CDN, Nutrition Director at the Good Housekeeping Institute.

    “Non-starchy veggies are lower in carbs but often higher in fiber, which can help you stay fuller, longer,” she says. “You’ll still get the benefit of satisfying that taste you crave.” Case in point: One serving of Trader Joe’s cauliflower gnocchi has less than half the carbs (22g vs. 52g) and twice the fiber (6g vs. 2.6g) compared to the potato kind.

    Packaged cauliflower gnocchi can contain a surprising amount of sodium — 1 cup of the Trader Joe’s version has 20% of your daily value — but don’t let that dissuade you from trying it.

    “If you’re enjoying the taste and filling up on the higher fiber content, you may eat less overall, and therefore, consume less sodium overall,” London says. “Plus, sodium becomes less of a concern the more we’re able to add vegetables in their less-processed form.” She recommends mixing in spinach, tomatoes, kale, or broccoli florets with your gnocchi to make it even more filling and nutrient-dense.

    Cauliflower gnocchi also works for many people following specific diets. It’s within the parameters of a Whole30, vegan, or a plant-based eating plan, but keto adherents should probably skip gnocchi in general because it’s higher in carbs.

    Here’s exactly what you’ll find in one serving of Trader Joe’s cauliflower gnocchi:

    Cauliflower Gnocchi Nutrition Facts

    Serving Size: 1 cup

    • Calories: 140
    • Total Fat: 3g (4% DV)
    • Saturated Fat: 0.5g (3% DV)
    • Trans Fat: 0g
    • Cholesterol: 0mg (0% DV)
    • Sodium: 460mg (20% DV)
    • Total Carbohydrate: 22g (8% DV)
    • Dietary Fiber: 6g (21% DV)
    • Total Sugars: < 1g
    • Protein: 2g
    • Calcium: 4% DV
    • Iron: 6% DV
    • Potassium: 4% DV

      By comparison, potato gnocchi has about twice the calories and carbs, not to mention less fiber. However, it does contain slightly more protein, iron, and potassium:

      Potato Gnocchi Nutrition Facts

      Serving Size: 1 cup

      • Calories: 250
      • Total Fat: 1.5g (2% DV)
      • Saturated Fat: 0.4g (2% DV)
      • Trans Fat: 0g
      • Cholesterol: 37mg (12% DV)
      • Sodium: 18mg (1% DV)
      • Total Carbohydrate: 52g (17% DV)
      • Dietary Fiber: 2.6g (10% DV)
      • Total Sugars: < 1g
      • Protein: 7.7g
      • Calcium: 1% DV
      • Iron: 15% DV
      • Potassium: 9% DV

        How Do You Make Cauliflower Gnocchi?

        Traditionally, gnocchi is boiled for a few minutes like pasta, but Trader Joe’s recommends sautéing their gnocchi in a stovetop pan — a no-thaw method that yields crisper results. You can still boil or microwave them if you want more tender dumplings, and some home chefs have even cooked them in their air fryers or roasted them in the oven for extra crunch.

        The gnocchi works as a base for tomato sauce or pesto, a side for chicken or seafood, and a sub for really any potato dish. As a low-carb, high-fiber base, the possibilities are pretty much endless.

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