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Friends of Loving Earth

Plant-based, Zero-Waste Xmas: At home with Sweetpea Darlingheart and Loving Earth

Say hello to our friend and recipe developing, food photographing, and styling extraordinaire, Amber from Sweetpea Darlingheart! We recently sat down with her for our plant-based, zero-waste Xmas at Home series to chat all things cooking, favourite food memories, epic fails and of course, chocolate ;)

Sweetpea Darling Heart chocolate on plate

First off, your feed is really beautiful and so very tasty. How did Instagram start for you? Was it just a way to pass the time or did you have a particular vision?  

Instagram was just a fun way to get inspired and connect with my friends, and it’s still a great way to do both these things!

How has your approach changed over the time you’ve been posting?

My photos have definitely improved! I tend to plan more nowadays, but I really admire those people who can post beautiful things on the fly!

Cakes used to feature a lot but you now play with all aspects of the menu. Do you have a guiding principle behind your recipe choices?

I want to make food that is easy, healthy, and delicious, so everyone can cook something super tasty, whenever they like. I like all the foods ;)

Are you a planner/perfectionist or is it more instinct and hope-for-the-best?

I love to plan, and then usually throw all those plans straight out the window when I go to actually make something. I have to make whatever it is that I'm feeling in order for it to feel right! I think the planning time helps me process and refine ideas though; who knows when those ideas may find their home in the future?!

What are your personal favourite recipes from your feed/blog and why?

Lots of people love my Chocolate and Tahini Caramel slice, I’ve eaten it at many friend’s houses for years now! It’s an oldie, but definitely a goodie. The Oat Porridge with caramelised banana is so comforting and takes me right back to breakfast in Sweden and is what I want to eat all Winter, the Sourdough Fruit Loaf is pretty much always on our kitchen bench and the Pumpkin Moon Salad is my favourite contribution to any picnic.

What has been your most epic fail?

I was once asked to make a wedding cake based on a couple’s memory of a cake they ate in Italy on holiday, as best they could describe it to me, with me having never heard of it or tasted it before! They thought they wanted that cake, but in my style. Needless to say the version I made didn’t quite live up to their memory – thankfully it was only a trial and not at their actual wedding! It was early on in my wedding cake baking days, and definitely my most cringe-worthy experience!

Favourite meal memory from when you were little?

Hmmmm, this is hard! My mum used to make me wholemeal toast when I was little, topped with peanut butter, a drizzle of honey and a handful of sprouted mung beans – that was, and still is, pretty great. And a little piece of halva, straight from the freezer – that was our special treat.

Do you have any other secret talents we don’t know about? 

I used to be a graphic designer, so good design and making things look just right is important to me!

Plant-based is a big change that’s happening across the world. Any plans to experiment with more plant-based recipes on your blog?

I live in a family of vegetarians, and although I am not vegetarian myself, we eat a lot of plants! Definitely, the biggest part of our plate is always filled with vegetables, and while I don’t aim to make things vegan specifically (I’ll leave that to the experts) several of our favourite weekly meals happen to be vegan. I think eating more plants every day is something we should all aim for.

Do you prefer….

Sweet or spicy? 

How could I possibly choose between them?! They are two totally different things, and I love them both! I can definitely always find room for both!

Foreign travel or cozy at home?

If you’d asked me last year I would have definitely said foreign travel! I love Paris, forever and always. But this year it’s definitely been cozy at home, so I think I’ll have to say both; I like to take turns!

Late night or early morning?

Early morning, it’s the best time to have ideas…

Country quiet or city bustle?

City bustle, but with a big garden! My own little farm, with all the perks of the city. We have chickens and bees, veggies, and fruit trees… if I could have a goat or a cow too, I totally would.

Read the book or see the movie?

Read the book. It lasts longer, and how you picture things is something special to you.

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