Don't Get it TWIXted

First of all. If you’re new here, I want to let you know a couple of things

a.) I’m Paul and I’m a plant based fitness professional

2.) The recipes I post here are almost always dessert

c.) Why? Because, why not?

d.) That 2 up there is not a mistake, I’m well aware that the alphabet does not have a 2 in it

5.) Or a 5.

So. I discovered something while getting lost in an instagram rabbit hole - you know, those moments when you’re scrolling and you see a picture and click on a tagged account and then another tagged account and then another and another and another? Yup. That happens to me ALL. THE. TIME.

Ok, back to what I discovered. You can make VEGAN CARAMEL with 3 ingredients. Really, 2 plus a dash a salt, but I digress.

TWO INGREDIENTS?!? Yup. Wait for it.

Tahini and Maple Syrup.

I know what you’re thinking. Tahini...isn’t that what makes hummus, so, I dunno...hummus-y? You’re definitely not wrong, but let’s talk about Tahini for a second here. Tahini is basically peanut butter but sesame seeds are used instead of peanuts. Does that make sense? I hope so.

I had to put this recipe to the test and see for myself if Tahini and Maple Syrup really tastes like caramel after they are mixed together on the stove top.

Consensus? 100 times YES!

So what can we do with this vegan miracle? EVERYTHING!!!

But for now, let’s make VEGAN GLUTEN FREE TWIX BITES.

What.

Calm down. These are literally so easy and after eating 20 of them I can confidently say that they are beyond delicious. I just ate 3 more to confirm, and yes, they are 100% delicious and *gasp* healthy.

GLUTEN FREE VEGAN TWIX BITES

Makes 24 mini bites (give or take the 7 that you'll eat during the baking process) 

Start to finish creation time: 1 hr plus some fridge action

What you'll need

A Food processor

These miraculous silicone mini muffin baking pans or an 8 x 4 Baking Pan

Some sort of double boiler action (aka a saucepan with a stainless steel bowl placed on top)

Ingredients

Caramel:

½  cup Tahini

½  cup Maple Syrup

Dash Pink Himalayan Sea Salt (you can use regular sea salt too, just avoid table salt!)

Cookies:

1/2 cup Almond Meal

1 cup Gluten Free Flour (I love this brand)

3 tbsp Maple Syrup

1/4 tsp Pink Himalayan Sea Salt (because: Pink)

1 tsp Vanilla Extract or Vanilla Bean Powder (obsessed to the MAX)

1/4 cup Coconut Oil

PLUS

2 cups Chocolate Chips (My favorite well worth the $8 price point brand)

Let’s get started! First things first. Set your intention and repeat after me:

“I will not eat all of these by myself. Although they are made with the highest quality ingredients and zero refined sugars I promise I will share these magical treats with my friends/family and social media.”

Ok. Now that we have that covered.

Preheat your oven to 350

Place your almond meal (psssst if you don’t have almond meal just put whole almonds in the food processor and make it yourself...I know, I’m full of tricks!) with the gluten free flour, maple syrup, salt, vanilla and coconut oil in your food processor and pulse until a nice crumbly dough is formed.

I had to add a little extra coconut oil to make the dough stick together a bit, but start with a ¼ cup and add from there.

Then fill ⅔ of the mini muffin molds with the dough and firmly pack it in with a spoon (or your fingers). Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden around the edges. Alternatively you can use an 8 X 4 baking pan (one you would make banana bread in) and press the entire batch of dough into the bottom of the pan.

While the cookies are cooling mix the tahini and maple syrup in a sauce pan and heat over medium high heat to boil. Once caramel starts to boil (around 2-4 minutes) turn heat down to medium low and let simmer for another 5 minutes until it starts to thicken.

Make sure to keep an eye on it and constantly stir so it doesn’t burn. After caramel is thickened remove from stovetop and let it cool for a few minutes. Then pour caramel directly onto cookies filling the last ⅓ of the muffin molds. This should remind you of a Twix commercial, but without the high fructose corn syrup and chemicals! After you’ve covered all the cookies with a nice layer of dreamy Varamel (that’s Vegan Caramel...duh) place them in the fridge for at least 15 minutes to cool. I ended up letting them cool overnight, but that’s just because I like to bake in the wee hours of the night and normally need to sleep.

Next, melt your chocolate chips in the double boiler and get ready to drizzle that deliciousness over your already delightful caramel cookies!

Baker’s note: It is completely acceptable to have already eaten half of the cookies before putting chocolate on them. Believe me. It happens and it’s ok! Don’t beat yourself up - you’re literally that good of a vegan gluten free baker that it would be silly not to taste test!

Oh, another important and more serious bakers note: Remove the cookies from the mold before you pour the chocolate over them - I placed mine on a silpat (no idea why that word is actually the name of a thing, but the thing that has the name silpat is legit amazing...my favorite is this brand) and took a nice spoonful of melted chocolate and dolloped it on top and then used my spoon to distribute the chocolate evenly over the cookie by applying a little bit of pressure on top of the cookie and moving the spoon in a circular motion. This will evenly push the chocolate over the edges of the cookie and create an artistic drip design on the sides!

Once all the cookies are coated do your best to place them in the fridge and let them chill. Believe me, after 20 minutes of fridge time the chocolate will harden and these tasty morsel will literally put any store bought candy TO SHAME!

Make sure to post photos of you enjoying your treats on social media and tag me @paulfishman with #FISHMANFIT. If you end up posting a picture of an empty muffin tin I’ll completely understand. THAT. GOOD.  



 

Peanut Butter & Jelly Time

I think Galantis said it best:

“Spread it like peanut butter jelly
Do it like I owe you some money”

Oh and do it, I did.

Let’s talk about this past weekend and how it was National Peanut Butter and Jelly day on Saturday. I literally saw a post on facebook about this and jumped at the opportunity to bring something tasty to life in the #FISHMANFIT Kitchen (the smallest excuse for a kitchen ever...but it’s by the beach so I’m happy as a clam! PUNS!)

My favorite part about making tasty treats is that I like to challenge myself to keep them as healthy as possible. Now, your definition of healthy might be a far cry from mine! You won’t find calorie free sweeteners or fat free desserts in my home, but what you will find are good fats, unrefined sugars (think dates and organic grade A maple syrup) and lots and lots of deliciousness.

I do want to set you up for success when making these tasty little treats by sharing my favorite silicone cupcake trays available on amazon. These trays work perfect for frozen (or baked) treats and these tasty suckers pop right out of the mold with very little effort and very little clean up!

So get ready to have your taste buds blown by these awesome gluten free, vegan and raw Mini Peanut Butter and Jelly Cheesecakes

Mini Peanut Butter and Jelly Vegan Cheesecakes

Makes 24 mini or one 8” Springform Cheesecake

Supplies needed

High Speed Blender - I have a refurbished Vitamix and it is the best purchase I have ever made. Hands down!

Food Processor (optional) - I like to use this for the crust because it’s easier to remove all the dough from this

Mini Cheesecake Mold (detailed above), Muffin Tin or 8” Springform Pan

Ingredients:

Crust

½ cup walnuts

½ cup pitted Medjool dates

Strawberry Cheesecake Filling

½ cup raw cashews (soaked overnight)

1 cup fresh strawberries (or frozen)

3-4 pitted Medjool dates

1 Tsp Vanilla Extract or Vanilla Bean Powder

¼ cup olive oil

Peanut Butter Cheesecake Filling

½ cup raw cashews (soaked overnight)

½ cup peanut butter (creamy is best)

¼ cup almond milk

1-2 pitted Medjool dates

Garnish (optional):

Chia Seeds

Strawberry Jam

Directions:

Soak all cashews overnight making sure to drain and refill water at least once (aprox every 8 hours) in between OR boil hot water and pour on top of cashews in a glass bowl and let soak for at least an hour. This does deplete some of the nutrients from the cashews, however it is quicker and I tend to always do it this way.

Make the crust by adding the walnuts and pitted dates to a food processor.

Blend until the two ingredients are combined and the texture looks like sand.

If making the mini cheesecakes press a small amount of crust into each mold so that the crust covers the bottom. If making a single cheesecake cover the bottom of a springform pan with the crust. Place in freezer.

To make the strawberry cheesecake filling add ½ cup cashews, dates, vanilla extract and fresh strawberries to your blender. If using frozen strawberries make sure to defrost them prior to blending. Turn the blender on and slowly pour in the olive oil in making sure that all ingredients blend well. If your filling is too thick and not blending add a splash of almond (or other nut milk) to the mix until everything is nice and blended and smooth. The consistency should be that of regular cheesecake or a very thick pudding.

Take your crusts out of the freezer and spoon a nice layer of the strawberry filling to the molds and then pop it back into the freezer.

To make the Peanut Butter Cheesecake filling add all ingredients to your (clean) blender and blend until it reaches the same cheesecake or pudding consistency and the strawberry filling. You may need to add more almond milk to make this one work due to the varying consistencies of peanut butter on the market.

Take your molds out of the freezer and use the back of a spoon to smooth down the strawberry filling, then spoon on your peanut butter filling from there.

Put the molds back in the freezer and freeze for 3-4 hours (or overnight). When you’re ready to serve them let them thaw for 10 minutes prior to enjoying and optionally garnish with fresh berries, strawberry jam, goji berries and a sprinkle of chia seeds.

Here's to hoping you enjoy this recipe! The cashew base can be used to make so many different delicious vegan cheesecakes! Think chocolate, coconut, matcha and beyond!

Make sure to take photos of your cheesecakes and tag them with #FISHMANFIT!

 

 

St. Patrick's Day Giveaway + LIVE Push-Ups + Planks Challenge

First of all, doesn’t it feel pretty awesome to have more sunshine in our lives? I feel like this extra hour is really just giving me life right now - yes, waking up and “losing” an hour was rough but at the end of the sunshine-filled-glorious-sunset-at-7PM day isn’t it just great to be alive?

Ok, I know it isn’t all sunshine and rainbows all the time but I just think we have a lot to celebrate, and speaking of parties we get to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day together this Thursday! Whether you’re in class with me or hanging out from afar via On-Aire bootcamp we’re going to have some fun together.  

Now, you know me and you know I always love rewarding hard work and dedication with some opportunities to win things that will enrich your body, mind and spirit. I’ve put together a little week long social media contest that is sure to make your week of all things green even more exciting!

Starting Monday March 14th through Friday March 18th you can enter the #FISHMANFIT St. Patrick’s Day Giveaway by posting a photo of you getting your fitness on and tagging me (@paulfishman) in your photo. Share why staying fit is important to you and make sure to use the hashtag #FISHMANFIT.

Anyone can participate! You do not have to live in San Diego or come to my classes - you just have to make sure to follow me on Instagram and make sure your posts meet the criteria!

Every post you make that meets the contest guidelines will get you one entry into the random drawing. There will be three winners chosen and they will be announced no later than Monday March 21st. The prizes are as follows:

  • 1 (ONE) Store Credit for a #FISHMANFIT apparel item with free shipping ($40 value)    
  • 1 Dozen  #FISHMANFIT Homemade Gluten Free Cupcakes (or 2 dozen cookies for non San Diego locals) for your next event ($60 value)
  • 1 (ONE) #FISHMANFIT Personal Training or Nutrition Coaching session ($100 Value)

On top of my regular schedule we’ll be celebrating St. Patty’s day in all my classes on Thursday so join me at 6AM and 7PM at SPARKCYCLE or at 3PM and 345PM at Pilates Plus for some delicious homemade treats (yes, I will be baking for you) and an opportunity to pinch yourself into a healthier happier holiday body. I’ll also be hosting a $5 St. Patty’s Day Push-ups + Planks Challenge live at 2PM PST / 5PM EST and 545PM PST / 845PM EST on the On-Aire Bootcamp platform (On-aire.com).

Bonus entries given to anyone who posts a picture with me so make sure to get to class or snap a screenshot or selfie of us during the On-Aire Challenge!


Here’s an example of a qualifying post:

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Comment: When I exercise and get my heart rate up I feel stronger and more empowered to be the truest version of myself. @paulfishman #FISHMANFIT

I can't wait to see all your posts and good luck!

The YOU DO YOU Giveaway + 2015: a Eulogy

Ok 2015, you're basically almost dead to me. I mean, once Friday rolls around we'll have officially said our goodbyes and I'm moving on - while you stay, well, dead-ish. 

Isn't it weird how the years pass by and then are literally no more? We can hold on to the memories, but it will never be 2015 again. Well, at least as far as we know - right? So that's what SPARKED (pun very much intended) me to think about how I would say goodbye to 2015 as if I had to write a eulogy for it. Stay with me here.

2015. You were actually really really good to me. I finally, and I mean finally, found my passion and turned it into a full fledged career while you were around. Don't get me wrong, all my past jobs were pretty great and I'm super blessed to have experienced them, but let's be real #FISHMANFIT is my legit calling. So, with that said I wanted to thank you, and send you off with a lot of love and some major respect.

Wait, i'm not done, so don't leave my quite yet (it's like when we're stretching in class and you have to run to work but I really want you to get your hip flexors in). I want to talk about 2016 and YOU. Yes that's right, YOU! I know you LOVE giveaways, so let's talk about what I'm working on to help YOU make your goals in 2016! Drumroll puhhhlllleeeaaaasssseeee

The #FISHMANFIT "YOU DO YOU" Giveaway

How to enter: Come to any of my classes between Thursday 12/31 and Sunday 1/3 and fill out an entry form with how YOU are going to DO YOU in 2016. Only ONE entry per class per person. The more times you come to class the more opportunities you have to win!

The Prizes:

A full size Passion Planner to keep all your goals organized and in one place. This is the tool I used to help me tackle some of my major goals in 2015!

passion planner

 

A set of 3 Essential Oil Chapsticks that are exclusive to the holiday season and the exclusive way I keep my lips hydrated and healthy

Lipbalm

 

A bottle of Tangerine Essential Oil or Lemon Essential Oil or Grapefruit Essential Oil - All of which are perfect additions to your daily water intake.

tangerine
lemon.jpg
grapefruit

 

A Copy of The Life Changing Art of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo - the legit way that I cleansed my home of things that do not bring me joy!

One Month of #FISHMANFIT Nutrition Coaching which will help you reevaluate your relationship with food and how you fuel your body!

I can't wait to see what kind of things you guys want to commit to for 2016 and I'm even more excited to SEE YOU IN CLASS!

Make sure to book your bike or megaformer via my SCHEDULE PAGE so you can get in on the excitement!


OFFICIAL GUIDELINES: There will be SEVEN (7) randomly selected winners on or around Monday January 4th. Each winner will only receive ONE (1) of the SEVEN (7) prizes. There are SEVEN (7) prizes TOTAL and there will be SEVEN (7) winners total.