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Harvesting To Roasting Sunflower Seeds – Easy Guide Here!

  • Amy 

Harvesting To Roasting Sunflower Seeds

Roasted sunflower seeds are tasty snacks that are great for snacking on while watching TV or hanging out with friends. They make a great snack for children and adults alike.

But sunflower seeds aren’t just delicious; they’re also a great source of fiber, vitamin E, and minerals such as magnesium, manganese, copper, phosphorus, and zinc. They’re also high in protein, low in fat, and full of healthy fats.

If you’ve never roasted sunflower seeds before, then you owe it to yourself to try it out. It’s fun, easy, and tastes amazing!

Harvesting Sunflower Seeds

When To Harvest Sunflower Seeds

Even when the flower seems to have grown as big as 8 feet, sunflower seeds will still take some time before you can harvest them.

The birds may notice that your sunflower seeds are ready before you do, so keep an eye on them. Aside from preventing them from harvesting the sunflower seeds first, you can also know that it’s time to harvest.

The sunflower seeds are ready to harvest when the sunflower seems to be dying.

The sunflower will wilt and fade, and the seeds will eventually be more visible. 

It’s still not ready by then. You still need to wait for the sunflower to dry out.

You know it’s ready when you see the seed change colors to the tan seed color we’re all familiar with.

How To Harvest Sunflower Seeds

To harvest the sunflower seeds, first, make sure that they’re ready to harvest by checking the pointers mentioned above.

Then, you have to cut and separate the flower head from the stalk since the head is where the seeds are. 

Take your sunflower head to your workstation, preferably outdoor, for easy cleanup. You can also do it indoors but make sure to lay some newspaper on your workstation for easy cleanup of any fallen sunflower bits.

Now for the actual harvesting. 

There are various methods you can try. Properly dried sunflower seeds are really easy to harvest; they should pop right off with some simple pressing and/or rubbing. 

Always start by lightly bending the head back to loosen the seeds and place a container below the sunflower head to catch the falling seeds. 

By Hand

After lightly bending the flower head and loosening the seeds, press the rows of seeds to remove them from the sunflower head.

Simply repeat these steps until you get all of the seeds. 

With Another Sunflower

After loosening the seeds, simply rub the two sunflower flower heads until the seeds fall off.

With A Coarse Wire Screen/Mesh

After loosening the seeds, simply rub the sunflower head with a coarse wire mesh. The seeds should pop off and fall through the mesh.

Roasting Sunflower Seeds

Preparation

If you’re roasting the fresh sunflower seeds after picking them, there’s no need to dry them. 

But, if you’re storing them or for eating later, you need to completely dry them, so they store better. 

You can dry your seeds by spreading them on a baking sheet or any flat, clean, and dry surface, really (even your kitchen counter).

You need to ensure they don’t overlap and mix them occasionally so the seeds can dry well and uniformly. Leave the seeds in a dry area for a few days. 

To know if they’re completely dry, pick up some seeds and shake them. If you hear rattling sounds, they’re dry and ready for storing. 

Roasting Process

What you’ll need

2 cups raw and shelled sunflower seeds

8 cups water

1/4 cup salt 

Directions

  1. Rinse the seeds.
  2. Boil the sunflower seeds with salt and water in a large pot.
  3. Once boiling, reduce the temperature until it’s good for simmering.
  4. Simmer the mixture for about 15 to 20 minutes.
  5. Drain salt water from the seeds with a strainer
  6. Preheat your oven to 400°F.
  7. Transfer the drained seeds to a baking sheet and spread them in a single layer.
  8. Place them on the top rack in your preheated oven and bake for 10 to 15 minutes.
  9. After several minutes, start keeping an eye on the seeds and occasionally mix them to avoid burning.
  10. Remove the seeds when they’re dry and crisp.
  11. After removing the seeds from oven, let them cool for a few minutes at room temperature.
  12. Store in an airtight container for later consumption, or serve straight up.
  13. Enjoy!

Flavored Sunflower Seeds Recipe

To make flavored sunflower seeds, simply take your raw seeds and add any seasoning you want before roasting. 

Here’s one recipe you can try:

Smoky Chili-Lime Sunflower Seeds

Ingredients

2 cup of sunflower seeds (raw)

lime juice (one lime)

1/4 teaspoon salt

cracked pepper to taste

1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/8 cup water

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F
  2. Soak raw sunflower seeds in a mixture of water and half of your lime juice for a few minutes
  3. Once soaked, add all the spices and mix thoroughly, making sure the seeds are coated evenly
  4. Line your baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the marinated seeds on it in a single layer
  5. Bake for 3 minutes in your preheated oven, then mix in the remaining half of the lime juice.
  6. Stir occasionally to avoid burning and continue baking for another 3 minutes or until crispy.
  7. After removing the seeds from the oven, let them cool for a few minutes at room temperature.
  8. Store in an airtight container for later consumption, or serve straight up.
  9. Enjoy!

Sunflower Seeds Health Benefits

Still not convinced that the painstaking process of roasting your own sunflower seeds is worth it? Maybe hearing the health benefits of eating these delicious seeds will help.

Helps Reduce Inflammation

Sunflower seeds contain vitamin E, flavonoids, as well as other plant compounds that help reduce inflammation.

Helps Improve Heart Health

Sunflower seeds contain polyunsaturated fat, monounsaturated fat, and other healthy fats, which help lower the risk of high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular disease.

Helps The Immune System

Sunflower seeds contain many vitamins and minerals, zinc and selenium included. These effectively support your immune system and even boost it. Selenium helps in reducing inflammation as well as fighting infection and ultimately boosting immunity. Zinc, on the other hand, helps maintain and develop immune cells.

Helps With Energy

Aside from the high protein content of sunflower seeds, the B vitamin and selenium in them can also help keep you energized. Selenium helps increase the blood flow, ultimately delivering more oxygen throughout your body. Thiamin, also called thiamin, helps convert food to energy.

Final Words

Sunflower seeds are delicious and nutritious – making them the perfect fun snack.

We hope this easy guide helps you make and appreciate a delicious batch of roasted sunflowers. 

Now, go – shine bright like a sunflower!

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Amy Toliver

Hey'all I'm Amy, a born foodie and diagnosed with celiac disease 7 years ago. I refused to cave into tasteless, boring gulten free food and create my own! On my blog you'll find info & cool facts along with recipes, all on gluten free foods!