We have had lots of emails recently requesting savory recipes so Katie whipped up this Sweet Potato Gnocchi with a delicious caramelized leek sauce and cashew nut cream.
We are always excited to have a new recipe which uses eczema-friendly ingredients from The Eczema Diet. After 15 years designing these recipes it is wonderful to have Katie, who works with me at the Eczema Life Clinic, help with the new creations. My daughter and son are still our recipe taste testers, as we can count on them to give their honest opinions! This one got a big thumbs up.
Note you don't have to have eczema, TSW or dermatitis to enjoy this recipe, anyone can try it.
My favourite addition to this recipe is the Caramelized Leek Sauce (which can be made either sweet or savory). You could alternatively use Parsley Pesto from the Eczema Diet book. Pesto and gnocchi work brilliantly together.
This sweet potato gnocchi makes a tasty dinner and can be used with many different eczema friendly ingredients to create a delicious and nourishing meal. We have used red cabbage (which is bursting with healthy anthocyanins) and green beans as they are both eczema-friendly vegetables.
The health benefits of sweet potato
Sweet potatoes are rich in vitamin C, B vitamins, manganese, and beta-carotene which is an important antioxidant that can increase your skin's hydration and improve the health of your skin. Beta carotene is converted to vitamin A in the body which encourages skin cell turnover.(1)
Tip: Cooking your sweet potato (and other beta-carotene rich vegies such as carrots) in a little oil enhances the absorption of beta-carotene.(2)
The health benefits of leeks
Leeks are a rich source of vitamin K, folate and manganese for healthy skin, and they are an ideal low-salicylate substitute for onions, which are rich in salicylates.(3)
Leeks contain allicin which helps to fight harmful free radicals in your body and it has a flavonoid called kaempferol, which may help fight cancer and heart disease according to research.(4, 5)
Sweet Potato Gnocchi Recipe
- Preparation time 30 minutes; cooking time 45 minutes
- Serves 2 (you can double this recipe for a family)
- Salicylate level: low to moderate (sweet potato contains moderate salicylates - use peeled white potato if you want a low salicylate meal)
- Amine level: low (if using raw cashews, not roasted)
- 1 very large sweet potato, skin kept on (remove it after baking)
- ½ cup brown rice flour (or other flour of choice)
- ¼ cup tapioca flour
- 1 teaspoon quality fine sea salt (or to taste)
- 1 teaspoon of garlic powder (optional or use fresh)
- Caramelized Leek Sauce (find recipe here)
- Cashew Nut Cream (find recipe here)
- optional: 3 cloves garlic
- 1 cup shredded red cabbage
- 1 handful fresh green string beans
Preheat the oven to 170°C (340°F), and line a baking tray with baking (parchment) paper.
Use knife to puncture some holes in the sweet potato skin, cover the skin with a little oil (such as rice bran) and bake it whole on a tray until it is soft the whole way through. This will take about 45 minutes (if you are stuck for time you could halve or quarter the sweet potato before roasting it for about 35 minutes.
Test softness with a skewer or knife, remove from the oven and leave to cool down.
Meanwhile sift together brown rice flour, tapioca flour, salt and garlic into bowl and mix together.
When the sweet potato is cool enough to touch, take off the skin, scoop out a very full ½ cup of mash (or more). Place it into a large bowl and mash it well to remove all of the lumps.
Add half of flour mixture to the sweet potato and knead in (see photo, below). It may seem like there is a lot of flour however it will be used up.
Place the dough onto a clean bench or a chopping board and add remaining flour and continue to knead though until the flour is mixed in. At this stage you can taste and add more salt or garlic powder if needed. (See pictures below.)
Roll the mixture into a long snake like piece (see below) then cut it into gnocchi-sized pieces, about 2cm (1 inch) long each.
Press individual pieces down slightly with a fork to make a pattern on the top (see next image).
Put the gnocchi onto a plate and place into the refrigerator to firm up while you prepare the Leek Sauce and Cashew Cream.
Then prepare the red cabbage and green beans (or the other ingredients you wish to serve with the gnocchi).
Bring a pot of water to the boil and using a large slotted spoon, gently place the gnocchi into the water. They should sort of bounce to the top when ready in about 7 minutes.
Add the green beans to blanch them in the last 1 minute of cooking.
Taste one piece of gnocchi and see if they need extra cooking to soften. When they no longer taste floury they are ready. Drain and then place them onto a plate.
Meanwhile, lightly fry the red cabbage on medium heat with a little oil until soft.
How to serve
How you serve your gnocchi is up to you, however it is tastiest served with caramelised leeks, roasted garlic, chopped chives and Cashew Cream. Parsley pesto is great too.
- Left over dough can be wrapped in plastic wrap and stored in the fridge to make gnocchi for another time.
- White peeled potato can be used in place of sweet potato.
- We have only tried the gnocchi using brown rice flour and tapioca, however different flours could be trialled if you wish to experiment!
At Eczema Life, we recommend nutritionist Karen Fischer's low food chemical program (The Eczema Detox) along with additive-free supplements for skin health and wellbeing. Click on the images to view more details:
Photos and styling: Sweet Potato Gnocchi by Karen Fischer; dough/prep images by Katie Layland; product images by Noel McLaughlin.
Recipe by Katie Layland.