In the Kitchen with Iselin Amanda Stoylen
CAN YOU TELL ME A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF AND WHAT YOU DO?
My name is Iselin Amanda Stoylen. I am originally from Norway, and spent the first 19 years of my life living on a beautiful island at the south coast of Norway. At the moment I live with my husband in Goonengerry, in the hinterlands of Byron Bay.
I am a certified health counsellor, Fertility Awareness Educator, yoga teacher, birth and postpartum doula and author.
I am deeply devoted to my work within women’s health and women’s bodies; and assisting women in connecting to their cycles and feminine power.
I work with a holistic approach to health; connecting the relationship between mind-body- spirit, and taking all aspects of people’s lives into account when looking to optimise their health. Some of the main areas I work with are supporting women in the process of recovering from disordered eating, assisting women who experience severe PMS and/or PMDD, hypothalamic amenorrhea (a condition where women stop menstruating due to stress) and education around fertility awareness (FAM) as a natural for of contraception or conscious family planning.
WHO OR WHAT IS YOUR MAIN SOURCE OF INSPIRATION?
I find inspiration in many places. As cliché as it may sound, mother nature is my forever muse. Beautiful fresh produce, fragrant spices, exotic fruits, healing herbs and medicinal plants inspire me. And flowers! I love flowers: outside, inside, in food, teas, baked goods, chocolates....
WHAT IS IT THAT YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT COOKING AND CREATING IN THE KITCHEN?
Being in the kitchen is extremely therapeutic for me. I forget about time, and immerse myself in flavours, scents, textures and allow my creativity to flow. At the moment I am writing a new book on all things raw chocolate and cacao. I absolutely love this stage of the creation process; and as a bonus there’s always plenty of different chocolates available in the kitchen..
My philosophy around food and cooking is that is something that has the ability to nourish us on many different levels. Food serves as fuel for our physical bodies, and as we all know, good nutrition is important for our overall health and wellbeing.
However, food is also social and cultural. Few things connect people more than shared meals, and most of our traditions and celebrations revolve around food. Cooking and eating together are actions of love, and it is closely related to some of our most intimate memories and feelings. Food brings people together, and if anything, this (connection) is our most important ‘nutrient’.
CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT THE RECIPES AND WHAT YOU LOVE ABOUT THEM?
I’d love to! I have a raw matcha cream cake for you, and my favourite cacao recipe.
The cake weaves bitterness of cacao and matcha with the sweetness of dates, maple syrup and vanilla. It is slightly tart, and has a touch of salt to it. This cake can be served frozen on a hot day, or defrosted accompanied by a cup of tea when the weather is bit cooler. Serve it with fresh raspberries and a drizzle of melted chocolate to bring it to new heights.
The second recipe is my personal favourite cacao recipe. Not a single day goes by without at least one mug of cacao (sometimes two and three)... I like to add medicinal mushrooms or certain herbs to my tonic, and recently I’ve really loved adding a pinch of cardamom and a little fresh ginger.
DREAMY MATCHA CREAM CAKE ON A CHOCOLATE HAZELNUT BASE
A pinch of sea salt
Matcha Vanilla Cream Filling:
1 1/3 cup cashews, soaked for 2-4 hours
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup coconut oil
2/3 cup coconut milk (full-fat)
2 tbsp cashew nut butter, macadamia nut butter or coconut butter 1 tsp ceremonial grade Matcha tea powder
2 tbsp lemon juice
seeds of one vanilla bean
1/6 tsp salt
1. To make the crust, process macadamias/walnuts and hazelnuts in a food processor for a few seconds. Add dates, cacao, honey/maple syrup and salt and process until everything begins sticking together. Press the dough into a lined tin using your fingers. Even out the surface with the back of a spoon.
2. For the cream layer, blend all ingredients in a high speed blender until completely smooth. Pour the batter over the crust and spread out evenly. Put the cake in the freezer and freeze until solid (at least 3-4 hours).
4. Remove the cake from the cake tin while it’s still frozen. Decorate with edible flowers if desired. The cake can be served half-frozen or completely defrosted (in the fridge). Keeps for up to 6 days in the fridge, or for up to 2 months in the freezer.
1 cup water
1 1/2 cup plant based milk (almond, soy, coconut etc.)
1 tbsp macadamia butter (or sub for almond butter)
4 tbsp raw cacao powder
2 tbsp maple syrup (more or less depending on preferred sweetness) Optional: 1 tsp of your favourite medicinal herbs/medicinal mushrooms
A pinch of cardamom
A pinch of sea salt
1. Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. 2. Gently heat up in a pot until hot (avoid boiling).
3. If desired, add more sweetener to taste.
4. Serve and enjoy.
Pictured here in our Jilly Wine Bowl and Ecru Plates.
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