• Keep reading to learn how to make cookbook author Donna Crous’ hearty vegan Pumpkin Gnocchi

    What Donna says about the recipe:

    “I prefer to make this gnocchi recipe using canned pumpkin, because that way I can ensure that it’s the same consistency and texture every time. Depending on the time of year, pumpkins differ in texture, and this recipe won’t work if the pumpkin is very watery, so using canned pumpkin is a safe option. I find my canned pumpkin in the American or baking sections of my supermarket or from Amazon.

    Top tip: If you prefer to use fresh homemade pumpkin purée, cut a pumpkin into wedges and roast at 220°C (200°C fan oven, Gas 7) until soft, golden and crispy on the outside (it should be mashable with a fork), allowing them to dry out as much as possible. Scoop out the flesh, purée it and weight out 425g. You might need to add an extra 1–2 tbsp coconut flour to get it to the play dough consistency.”

    Serves 4

    dairy-free • gluten-free • Paleo • vegan


    • 425g canned pumpkin purée (or fresh, cooked, see above)
    • 100g cassava flour, sifted
    • 2 tbsp coconut flour, sifted, plus extra if needed
    • pink salt
    • ½ tsp garlic powder
    • avocado oil, for frying
    • 1 large red onion, sliced
    • 100g raw walnuts, crushed
    • 1–2 tbsp Pesto, to taste, to serve


    1. Fill a saucepan halfway with boiling water and add a sprinkle of salt, then return it to the boil.

    2. Mix together the pumpkin purée, cassava flour, coconut flour, ½ tsp pink salt and the garlic powder. It should be a play dough consistency; if not, mix in an extra 1–2 tsp coconut flour.

    3. Roll the batter into three logs on baking paper. Cut individual pieces about 3cm long and press them down slightly with a wet fork to leave an indentation. Transfer them in batches to the boiling water.

    4. When they rise to the top of the water, remove them with a slotted spoon and put them on a plate lined with kitchen paper. Continue until all the dough is finished.

    5. Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan over a medium-high heat.

    6. Fry the gnocchi in batches (don’t worry if they leave a crispy layer in the pan).

    7. Remove the fried gnocchi and add more oil to fry the onion, scraping up any of the crispy layers left behind from the gnocchi.

    8. Add the crushed walnuts and heat them through, then return the gnocchi to the pan and heat through.

    9. Serve your vegan pumpkin gnocchi with a dollop of vegan pesto.

    Try something different

    Take this pumpkin gnocchi dish to a whole new level by adding anchovy fillets for a punch of flavour, healthy oils and protein.

    Extracted with permission from A Healthier Family for Life by Donna Crous, published by Little Brown and available in South Africa through Jonathan Ball Publishers, R495.

    Donna is a South African living in the Channel Islands, she focuses on using raw, natural ingredients in her recipes to create a sustainable, healthy lifestyle for her and her family, and she wants to teach us how we can do the same in her new cookbook.

    Buy her book at your nearest bookstore or find it on Takealot or Loot

    Find Donna on Instagram @Donnacrous

    Read her award winning blog Eighty20nutrition 


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    Sjaan is a food stylist and recipe developer for Food & Home. She aims to create mouth-watering images and exciting How To videos on our Instagram, hoping to inspire people to try new recipes and have fun in the kitchen.