Sunflower seeds are a fun and yummy snack! Cracking open sunflower seeds definitely gives your mouth something to do, so it’s a fun food to eat. It can take some practice to be able to successfully crack open the shells and get the seed out, but it gets easier and easier. If you have sunflowers that are starting to wilt, give them a new purpose by harvesting and roasting your own sunflower seeds.
Wait Until the Flower Starts to Die
The sunflower seeds need to be dry enough to harvest. You cannot harvest sunflower seeds if the flower is still holding onto the seeds tightly. When the flower starts to die, the sunflower seeds will become looser and easier to harvest. This is typically when birds and other critters like to snag the seeds for themselves. You might need to cut the head of the flower off and let the seeds continue to dry out in a place that doesn’t have any wildlife around.
Harvesting the Sunflower Seeds
Once the flower becomes dry enough, the seeds are easy to harvest. All you need to do is run your hand over the seeds and they should start falling off with minimal effort. Hold the flower head over a bowl or a bucket to catch all the falling seeds. Look carefully at the sunflower seeds to make sure that you throw away any that are nibbled on by little critters. You don’t want to eat those.
Clean the Sunflower Seeds
Since the seeds have spent a good portion of their lives outside, they need to be washed thoroughly. Put all the seeds under cool water and rub them together, making sure to get off any dirt of other debris. Lay them out on a paper towel and let them dry overnight.
Roasting the Sunflower Seeds
Once the seeds are dry after washing them, you can eat them just like that! Or you can roast them for a little more flavor and crunch. If you like salty sunflower seeds, you’ll need to give the sunflower seeds a salt bath to let the salt soak into the shells. There should be ¼ cup of salt for every quart of water used to completely submerge all of your sunflower seeds. Let the sunflower seeds soak overnight to really get them nice and salty. To roast the sunflower seeds, preheat your oven to 300℉ and pat the seeds dry with a paper towel. Then spread the seeds in a single layer across a cookie sheet. Let the sunflower seeds roast for about 30 minutes. You’ll start to see the shells become roasted. Let the seeds cool, then add extra salt on top or more of your favorite flavors. Then enjoy!
Sunflower seeds are easy to make and everyone can enjoy them. They are healthy, and delicious and they’re also fun to eat. If you have sunflowers already growing, this is a great way to put the sunflowers to good use. Harvest and roast your own sunflower seeds for fun the whole family can enjoy!