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November 2007 Issue
How to Roast Sunflower Seeds
by Philip R. Gantt
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Welcome to Seasoned Cooking and to Phil's International Flair!

Well, I thought I should share this recipe for the benefit of all those who have asked me about my sunflower seeds. Homemade roasted sunflower seeds are nothing like the type you might purchase in a bag at the grocery store. My kids, friends, and even myself, can't stop eating these seeds because they taste so good. Several people have suggested that I sell them. However, I didn't grow nearly enough to sell.

Sunflower seeds are reported to be helpful in preventing prostate cancer. Besides being nutritious, they are tasty. Kids love to eat them and it's fun for the kids to participate in garden activities by growing some sunflowers. And, they get to eat the fruit of their efforts. If you prepare the seeds using the following recipe, you will be the most popular person in the neighborhood.

Now, on to the recipe! Be well, and good eating!


How to Roast Sunflower Seeds

I grew some nice sunflowers in the garden this year. Harvest the heads after the petals dry and begin to fall off. After harvesting the flowers, I let them dry on a table outdoors for a few days before seeding the sunflower heads inside a large paper bag. Once the seeds are free from the heads, I let the seeds dry for another day or so before processing. The flower heads can then be tossed into the compost pile.

My harvest this year is estimated at about 12 pounds of seeds from about 12 large sunflowers. I process about 6 pounds or less at a time. For those on a salt free diet, simply roast the seed without boiling in salt water.

Processing the sunflower seeds is easy once the seeds are removed from the flower heads. Try to pick out any scraps from the flower head before boiling the seeds.

  • Seeds from 6 sunflower heads, about 6 lbs.
  • Large pot with 6 quarts water
  • 1 lb. kosher salt
Bring the pot of water to a boil and add the salt. Next, add the sunflower seeds and boil for about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. After boiling, drain the seeds in a colander and spread the wet seeds evenly on 2 or 3 baking pans. Place the pans on the center rack of the oven, preheated to 325 degrees. Roast the seeds for 60 minutes, stirring them every 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.

Eat a few of the seeds after they cool. If they aren't crispy enough, roast them for an additional 20 minutes. I guarantee these will be the best sunflower seeds you have ever eaten. And, what I have found, is that these seeds don't get stale very easily. I've had some in a bowl on my table for 2 weeks and they are still as fresh and nutty as when they came out of the oven. There's nothing better than home made.

  • Yields: 100 servings
  • Preparation Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

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