Sunflower seeds from sunflowers

How To Harvest Sunflower Seeds for Planting, Roasting and Feeding Birds

by Amanda

Sunflowers are a staple of the summer garden. They are tall and regal, looking down at the rest of the flowers and offering a source of food and nectar to any pollinator who stops by. Also a delight for the gardener, their grandiose blooms make a cheerful statement in almost any sunny spot. At the end of the season, it’s easy to harvest sunflower seeds to dry for re-planting, baking up for a tasty snack and re-purposing into suet cakes to feed back to the birds in the winter months.

Sunflowers are ready to harvest when their foliage turns yellow, the petals die down and the seeds look plump.

Harvest Sunflower Seeds: Cutting

This is undoubtedly the easiest and quickest part of the process. Once your sunflowers have died back completely and the backs of the blooms are brown, it’s time to harvest. You’ll also notice the seeds are plump and somewhat loose. Cut the stalk with sharp scissors or pruners, about one foot down from the flower head, and place in a container that can catch any loose seeds.

Cut the sunflower stalk about a foot below the bloom.

Harvest Sunflower Seeds: Hanging To Dry

If you’re worried about the birds eating all of your sunflower seeds before you get the chance to harvest, tie a paper bag over the blooms right in the garden. You can also cut the stalks before they are ready and hang them indoors to dry.

If the sunflowers aren’t ready yet, tie the stalks with twine.

I cut my sunflower blooms and noticed that several of them weren’t quite ready for harvest yet. It wasn’t a problem – I simply tied them together with twine and hung them in a warm, dry area for five days.

Hang sunflowers for 4-5 days to dry out.

Harvest Sunflower Seeds: Removing The Seeds

This is the most fun part (I think). There is something oddly satisfying about de-seeding a sunflower bloom. You can wear gloves or not, depending on your preference. Firmly rub the seed head over a bucket to catch the seeds. You’ll also get petals and other sunflower matter in with the seeds, which is fine; you will remove that later.

Drying Seeds For Re-Planting

If you’re planning on re-planting the seeds or making them into suet cakes, simply rinse the seeds in a colander and then pick out all the bits and pieces that aren’t seed. Line a shallow cardboard box or wooden crate with newspaper and paper towels and scatter the seeds in a single layer to dry, leaving space in between each seed.

Rinse sunflower seeds before laying out to dry.

Allow them to dry for several hours (or overnight). If you’re saving the seeds to re-plant, store them in an airtight container in a cool, dry place until you are ready to plant. Label the container with the variety and the date you harvested. The seed will last for years if stored this way.

Allow the seeds to dry for several hours or overnight before storing.

Store the seeds in an airtight container in a cool, dry place until you are ready to plant.

How To Make Suet Cakes With Sunflower Seeds

Your local bird population will certainly appreciate your homemade suet cakes, and if you compost this is a great way to use leftover beef fat.

Fruit And Sunflower Seed Suet Cake Recipe (Yields About Four Cups):

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound beef fat or lard
  • 1 cup millet
  • 1 cup chopped cherries, raisins, or crab apples
  • 1 cup sunflower seeds
  • 2 tablespoons of honey (optional)
  • Small plastic containers (sour cream, yogurt, freezer containers)

Directions:

  • Melt the fat in a saucepan until completely liquid. Next, remove from heat and let sit for several minutes.
  • Stir in the remaining ingredients and fill containers evenly with mixture.
  • Refrigerate the containers filled with suet cakes until they start to harden and then store them in the freezer until ready for use.

Store the homemade suet cakes in the freezer until you are ready to use them.

You can find all of these ingredients in the bulk section of your local health food store, which allows you get exactly the amount you need. You can also buy the items in bulk to have them on hand when you run out.

Making your own suet cakes is really easy to do and a great way to give your local bird population healthy food during the colder months.

Soaking, Drying And Baking Sunflower Seeds For Eating

Finally, something for you to eat! Soak seeds in a mixture of water and ¼ cup salt overnight. If you prefer unsalted seeds, omit the salt in this process and simply soak the seeds in water. If you don’t have the time to soak the seeds overnight, bring water, salt and seeds to a boil on the stove, then turn down to a simmer and simmer for 1 to 1 ½ hours.

Soak seeds overnight before baking.

After you’ve either soaked or boiled the seeds, run them through a strainer (don’t rinse them) and then pick out all of the sunflower bits. Next, dry the seeds on a layer of newspaper and then paper towels for several hours before baking.

Bake for 30 minutes at 325 degrees.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and spread the seeds in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Bake for 25-30 minutes, stirring frequently, until the seeds are slightly browned and fragrant. After you take the seeds out of the oven you can eat them plain or sprinkle spices and drizzle olive oil over them. You can also store the seeds in an airtight container for weeks to stay fresh and snak con. Enjoy!

Growing and harvesting sunflower seeds is a fantastic way to help out pollinators in the summer months. It’s also a great way to continue feeding birds (and your family) into the winter.

Have you harvested sunflower seeds to re-plant, bake or make suet cakes with? Please share your experiences in the comments below!

I have the most amazing readers, and most of the time, it is me learning from you, but every once in awhile, someone sends in a question that I think, “Hey, I bet lots of people would love to know the answer to that.” So, I am going to try to feature some of your questions and answer them, the best I can.

Mavis,

Do you have a preferred or recommended way to dry the sunflower heads to gather seeds? I have tried several times and mine always seem to mold before seeds are ready to harvest. I have tried a few ways with no luck! We decided to try again and the seeds went in the ground today ……would appreciate any tips! Thanks! On another note…your garden inspires! Thanks for rocking and growing!

First off, thank you! Second, good question. To dry sunflower seeds, it is best to leave the sunflower in the ground. You will know you are ready to start drying your seeds when the flower has lost its petals and the head begins to droop. As it starts to die back {you may need to provide some support to the stalk as it is dying} cover the head of the flower with cheese cloth or a paper bag and rubber band or tie around the base of the flower head.

The cheese cloth/bag will keep the birds from attacking your seeds, and catch any seeds that may fall off during the drying process. If you live in a wet climate, which you may, since you mentioned mold is an issue, you may have to cut the head off of the stalk {leave about 12” of the stalk} and dry it in a covered area {i.e. garage, shed, etc.}. If you do bring it inside, make sure to still cover the head with the cheese cloth or bag, and hang the plant upside down to dry.

Allowing the seeds to dry ON the head of the flower gives the seeds enough time to harden up. When the seeds are completely dry, keep the head of the flower in the paper bag {or put a paper bag over the head now if you used cheese cloth, and gently brush the head, causing the seeds to naturally fall off into the bag. If the seeds are giving you trouble, they are not dry enough yet.

I hope that helps. Thanks again for the question!

Happy Gardening,

Mavis

When and How to Harvest Sunflower Seeds

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Sunflowers are a favorite for kids of all ages. Not only are they fun to grow theyre also great to eat that is – if you can beat the birds and squirrels to the seeds.

Protect your harvest from these critters by covering the flowers with a paper bag, cheesecloth or season extending fabric as the seeds begin to form.

The seeds are ripe and ready to harvest when the back of the flower head is banana yellow or brown and most of the yellow petals are dry.

This is also when you can easily rub the fluffy covering off the plump seeds that have developed their characteristic gray stripes.

You can eat them fresh or hang the harvested flowerheads upside down in a warm dry place to dry. Remove the seeds by rubbing your hand over the face of the flower.

Store seeds in a cool dry place. Shelled sunflower seeds can last several months or longer if placed in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer.

A bit more information: Roast a few of the sunflowers to make a special treat. Remove the seeds from the shell and place a single layer of the raw seed kernels in a shallow pan. Roast the seeds in a 300 º oven for 30 to 40 minutes or until the seeds are crisp and brown. Stir occasionally to prevent scorching. Remove from the oven and add a teaspoon of melted margarine per cup of seeds if desired. Stir to coat and place on a piece of absorbent paper. Salt to taste.

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harvest sunflower seeds

Sunflower petals: Some physical properties and modeling distribution of their number, dimensions, and mass

Sunflower petal is one of the parts of the sunflower which has drawn attention and has several applications these days. These applications justify getting information about physical properties, mechanical properties, drying trends, etc. in order to design new machines and use new methods to harvest or dry the sunflower petals. For three varieties of sunflower, picking force of petals was measured; number of petals of each head was counted; unit mass and 1000-unit mass of fresh petals were measured and length, width, and projected area of fresh petals were calculated based on image processing technique; frequency distributions of these parameters were modeled using statistical distribution models namely Gamma, Generalized Extreme Value (G. E. V), Lognormal, and Weibull. Results of picking force showed that with increasing number of days after appearing the first petal on each head from 5 to 14 and decreasing loading rate from 150 g min−1 to 50 g min−1 values of picking force were decreased for three varieties, but diameter of sunflower head had different effects on picking force for each variety. Length, width, and number of petals of Dorsefid variety ranged from 38.52 to 95.44 mm, 3.80 to 9.28 mm and 29 to 89, respectively. The corresponding values ranged from 34.19 to 88.18 mm, 4.28 to 10.60 mm and 21 to 89, respectively for Shamshiri variety and ranged from 44.47 to 114.63 mm, 7.03 to 20.31 mm and 29 to 89 for Sirena variety. Results of frequency distribution modeling indicated that in most cases, G. E. V and Weibull distributions had better performance than other distributions.

This year wasn’t ideal for growing much of anything in our garden. The rain drownd just about everything except the corn my daughter planted in my flower bed (of course, that grew vigorously) and the sunflowers we planted on the edge of the garden.

Now, we find ourselves patiently awaiting our first sunflower seed harvest. I never really considered how different the process would be from a typical vegetable.

Knowing when it’s time to harvest sunflower seeds

Apparently, patience is paramount to sunflower seed harvests.

Leave the sunflower alone if:

  • most of the petals are still attached.
  • the back — calyx — is still green.
  • the seeds are still white and immature.

Signs the sunflower is ready for harvest:

  • The seeds are plump, developed and black and white striped.
  • The flower petals have dried and fallen off.
  • The back of the sunflower has turned from green to brown or yellow.
  • The foliage has turned yellow.

While you’re waiting for your sunflowers to mature enough to harvest, make sure you protect them from critters. Birds and squirrels like sunflower seeds too.

Once you notice the petals wilting, cover the heads of your sunflowers with fine netting, perforated plastic bags, cheesecloth or paper bags so the seeds are more difficult to retrieve.

Harvesting sunflower seeds

Harvesting sunflower seeds depends on your preferred drying method. Some growers prefer to cut the stems earlier, when the backs of their sunflowers are yellow and dry them completely indoors, while others let them dry out completely on the stem and harvest them when the backs turn brown.

If you want to harvest earlier and dry indoors, follow these steps:

  1. Cut off stalks 4 inches below heads when outer seeds are mature and inner seeds are approaching maturity.
  2. Hang upside down in a warm, well-ventilated area.
  3. Cover heads with paper sacks.
  4. Wait for seeds to dry out and fully mature.
  5. Follow steps 3-5 below.

If you decide to let the seeds harvest on the stalks, follow these steps:

  1. Protect from critters.
  2. When seeds are fully ripened, cut the stem 1 inch below the head.
  3. Rub the seeds from the head with your hand to collect in a bucket.
  4. Rinse harvested seeds.
  5. Allow the seeds to dry out on a paper towel or newspaper overnight before storing.

Roasting sunflower seeds

Plain

If you want to roast plain sunflower seeds, preheat your oven to 300 F. Spread your seeds on a cookie sheet. Then cook them for 15-20 minutes.

Salted

If you want salted sunflower seeds, cover them in a mixture of 1/4 to 1/2 cup of salt per 2 quarts of water. Then, bring the seed-saltwater mixture to a boil and simmer for two hours. Alternatively, you may soak your seeds in a saltwater brine overnight to cut boiling time to a few minutes. Next, spread the seeds on a cookie sheet or shallow pan and preheat your oven to 300 F. Cook the seeds for 30 to 40 minutes until crisp, stirring occasionally. After taking them out of the oven, mix in one teaspoon of melted butter for every cup of seeds. Last, salt your seeds to taste as they cool on an absorbent towel.

Resources

  • University of Illinois Extension
  • Colorado State University

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Harvesting Sunflower Seeds – Tips To Harvest Sunflowers

One of the pleasures of watching those huge yellow flowers following the summer sun is anticipating harvesting sunflower seeds in the fall. If you have done your homework and planted a sunflower variety with large, full heads, you’re in for a treat, but beware; you won’t be the only one harvesting sunflower seeds. Sunflower harvesting is a favorite past time of birds, squirrels, field mice and deer. To beat the local wildlife, it is important to know when to harvest sunflowers.

When to Harvest Sunflower Seeds

Harvesting sunflowers is easy, but deciding when to harvest sunflowers can give some gardeners pause. Heads picked before the proper time may have plenty of seed coats with little meat. Wait too long to harvest sunflowers and the tender seeds will be too dry to roast. Wait until the animals start sunflower harvesting for you and there’ll be nothing left for you!

Harvest sunflowers when their petals become dry and begin to fall. The green base of the head will turn yellow and eventually brown. Seeds will look plump and the seed coats will be fully black or black and white stripes depending on the variety. If animals or birds are a problem, you can cover the heads with fine netting or paper bags as soon as the petals begin to wilt.

How to Harvest Sunflower Seeds

While most growers agree on when to harvest sunflowers, how to harvest sunflowers seeds is largely a matter of preference and neither method provides a greater yield.

One method for harvesting sunflower seeds allows the seeds to fully ripen on the stem. When seeds are fully ripened and just beginning to loosen from the head, cut the stem about one inch below the head. Now briskly rub the seeds from the head with your hand, blow off the chaff and allow the seeds to dry before storing.

The second method for harvesting sunflowers begins when about two-thirds of the seeds are mature. Cut a longer piece of stem. 3 to 4 inches works well. Wrap a paper bag around the head and hang the heads in in a well ventilated area for a few weeks to dry. Make sure the area is warm, but not hot.

Sunflower harvesting has a long history as an American tradition and they have been part of man’s diet for centuries. Native Americans were harvesting sunflower seeds long before Europeans arrived. They boiled the heads to extract the oil and ate the seeds either raw or baked in breads and infusions were used medicinally. The seeds are a good source of calcium, phosphorus and potassium.

Saving Sunflower Seeds

Once seeds are harvested, they may be used right away or saved for planting next season. Dry your seeds completely prior to storing them. The drier seeds are, the longer they will store. Keep seeds in a closed container such as a sealed, airtight mason jar. Don’t forget to label the contents clearly and date it.

For seeds that will be stored for only a season, place the container in a cool, dark location. The refrigerator is a great place to store seeds. To help ensure the seeds remain dry, you can also place silica gel or 2 tablespoons of powdered milk wrapped in tissue in the bottom of the jar. You can also freeze your seeds. Either place them in an airtight, freezer safe container or toss them into a freezer bag. Most sunflower seeds will last for up to a year when stored in the fridge or freezer. Those stored short term, such as in the pantry, should be used within 2-3 months.

Whatever your reasons for harvesting sunflower seeds, whether as winter feed for the birds or a tasty treat for your family, sunflower harvesting is easy and fun and can create a new fall tradition for you and your family.

The Urban Farming Guys

Mammoth Sunflower POWER!

transcription of “Mammoth Sunflower POWER” video..by The Urban Farming Guys

You helping? Yep. You’re doing a good job, you know that?

So, the problem with mammoth sunflowers is they grow so fast that they end up falling over on their side almost 100% of the time..& I just refuse to stake them. But, we found another way. So, what you gotta do is dig a trench & put your seeds in at the bottom. Sunflowers are one of the few plants that you can pack dirt around the stem as it grows. Now, you can put your mammoth sunflowers wherever you want, not just on the side of the house or on the fence.

Our mammoth sunflowers are just about to the point where they’re about to blow over. So, we planted them in a ditch. Now, they’re grown up about almost a foot & we’re gonna pack the soil that’s piled up around the outside up around the plant. This way, you don’t have to stake them. Do this process when the plant reaches six inches…& pack some more dirt around it before it reaches two feet tall. You’re gonna want to put some fertilizer on these plants. We use fish waste from our aquaponics system. So, we’ve pretty much done that all the way down & now they’ll stand up on their own..& they’ve got a little troth for the water.

Here we are, it’s July 12th & our sunflowers have reached full maturity. & just through this time of waiting & watching, I feel like I, too, have reached full maturity. These things are growing right here with our pole beans & here’s one..& they are ripe, too. What we’re gonna do today is protect these seed heads from the birds. Last year, we lost 50% of our harvest just because the birds were one step ahead of us. We’re gonna show you how to do that. & we’ve got a special guest today; I’m gonna introduce you to her.

Today, we are here with some really special people. We’ve got Arthi & Voot. They are traveling across America on bicycles. They started in Boston. They’re traveling halfway across; we’re here in KC now. They are doing random acts of kindness everywhere they stop. So, this is Arthi & this is Voot. Can you tell me a little bit about what you guys are doing? Yeah, I’d be happy to. So, Arthi & I actually met in a class about community organizing at Harvard. & when we were in that class Arthi told me about her plan of biking across the country & doing these random acts. & it inspired me. I just thought this was a great idea. I love the idea of you know actually experiencing communities by biking through them..& meeting people in a much more interactive way vs. just kind of driving through & just seeing things through the window of your car. So, the kind of random acts of kindness we’ve done have been just a range all across the map. We’ve helped one guy clean his car leak. Our most interesting one, I think, to date, until now of course, has been helping a group called Pick Up America..& we’re just on our bikes, trudging through the sun, & we see a big, converted school bus driving by. & on the side of it, it said, “Pick Up America”. So, we’re interested. We go up, stop the bus, & ask them what they’re up to. They say, we’re doing a trash pick up, we’re picking up litter coast to coast. They started in MD, & now they were also in IN. We asked if we could join them for the day. They said sure. So, we spent the day with them just walking down the highway picking up trash along with them. We ended up spending two days picking up trash with them & the third day we ended up being in a parade with them in St. Louis.

Wow! That is super cool..So, you’ve met some interesting people, huh? Had some great conversations? We’ve had amazing conversations, & I think the best learning that we’ve had is people in this country are really kind & generous. & what we have done, has in no way shape or form, even come close to what other people have done for us. Wow! So, you go to give & –? & then, it’s just ridiculous..we have been given back like leaps & bounds more than we ever could have dreamed of giving. This one woman we met two days ago—We came into her town, we asked her if we could help her out with anything..She put us up in a hotel for the night, & she made us this amazing dinner, & she just shared a beautiful conversation & time with us..She gave us a lot of love & we were complete strangers. So, you know, it’s just been–Every single person we’ve met along the way has been incredibly kind & generous towards us & it’s been a fight to find something to give when every one’s been giving to us so much. So, it’s been really inspiring.

That is incredible! That is really cool! So, these guys heard about us & stopped by & we’ve had a great conversation, great time. Now, they’re about to help us harvest these sunflowers & they helped us with some green beans & some other things. Now, we’re gonna get to it. Woo! Okay, let’s do it!

So, Candy’s been researching this after what happened last year with the birds. Candy, what do we need to do? Well, we can take paper bags..You wanna use paper, not plastic, so they won’t mold. You put them over the head & you allow the sunflowers to finish maturing in the bags. So, it keeps the birds from getting at them & then you’re able to get a seed with more meat in it. We could harvest these now, but they’d be mostly shell & not enough meat. So, we want them to go a little longer, but we don’t want the birds to get them.

Yeah, so I’ve heard that you can cut these down & hang them in your house or on your porch, but you’re saying to leave them on the stem? As long as you can, yeah. So, we’re gonna put the bag on there to keep the birds from eating them..& then, come out here..When do we come back out here & take the bag off? You want them right as the seeds are starting to actually fall off of whatever this is called. They’ll get so dry..these little yellow things will fall off first & then the seeds will start to actually get loose so then you can just go like this & they fall right off. It was really hard the one year we picked them a little early before the birds got them. We had to pick & they were really green & we didn’t have a lot of meat…Yeah, I had blisters on both my thumbs. Alright, let’s get to it!

When most of these little yellow flowers have fallen off or come off really easy, it’s ready to harvest. Alright, to harvest these sunflowers, the best way is if you were a trained ninja with a sword. But, today, we’re gonna try a little higher level of difficulty. We’ve got this, take this off here, &—aaahhh! What happened? What happened, Mom?

Now, we’re gonna knock off any of these little flowers if there’s any left. Titus, you wanna help? Yep. Yeah, knock these off. When they’re ready, these should come right off of here. We picked them a little too early last year & they were still good, but they were really hard to get off. & we got blisters on our thumbs by the time we got to about the 15th head. Titus, you wanna help Daddy? Yep. Help with those. Good job. So, you wanna take some of your bigger heads & save the seeds on those. This is just a medium-sized head; we’re gonna roast these up, soak them in some salt water, & season them up. Titus, you helping Daddy? Yep. Alright!

Here’s a separate batch; we’re gonna save. We didn’t cook these. We’re just laying them out to dry. We’re gonna put them in a dry place for a couple of weeks, then put them in a paper bag til we’re ready to plant them.

Okay. So, what you want to do is soak them in salt water. For every two quarts of water, use anywhere from a quarter to a half cup of salt. You kinda split the difference. You just let them soak overnight. Or, if you want to do them faster, you can actually do them at a low boil for a couple of hours on the stove & that will get the salt in the shells. Let them soak overnight & then in the morning, you can drain them & let them dry. Just spread them out on a towel or something. Let them dry & then you want to put them in the oven to roast them. Can you add some of your own flavors? Yes, we add the flavor beforehand…Or, you can roast them & add the flavor & a little bit of butter after. Awesome!

Alright, so spread them out on a cookie sheet. Put just a little bit of oil. We use some seasoning salt, some sea salt, & some garlic powder. Let the oil get a little bit on all of them. Stick them in the oven. You do low temperature, like 300, for a while. Just keep checking them every 20 minutes/half hour & see how they’re doing..When they seem pretty dried out & crisp, take them out. We’ll let you know how long these took.

Then, you pull them out of the oven when no one’s looking & you’ve got a tasty snack..You know they’re done when they’re nice & dry & you can hear them. We cooked these for about an hour at 300. You want them to pop when you crack them. That’s good!

While often admired as simply lovely garden ornamentals, sunflowers actually have an amazing variety of uses.

The seeds feed countless people, animals, and birds. Sunflower oil is used in cooking, soaps, and cosmetics. In the garden, you can grow sunflowers not only as beautiful aesthetic additions, but as windbreaks, privacy screens, or living supports for pole beans.

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Sunflowers also come in a wide assortment of sizes. Some cultivars grow as tall as 15 feet with flower heads as wide as 1 foot across; dwarf types, however, measure only only a foot or two tall. There are also early, medium-height sunflowers that stand 5 to 8 feet tall with heads that 8 to 10 inches across. Some cultivars produce a single large flower; others form several heads.

Here are our best tips to grow your healthiest sunflowers yet this year.

Plant them in full sun.

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If possible, choose a site in full sun on the north side of the garden so the tall plants won’t shade your other vegetables once they’re grown. Sunflowers aren’t fussy about soil so you don’t need to worry too much about soil varieties.

Sunflower seedlings are cold-resistant, so short-season growers may want to get a head start by starting seeds several weeks before the last frost. In most areas, though, it’s best to wait until the soil is warmer — around the last frost date.

If you’re sowing seeds directly, you can sow most sunflower seeds 1 inch deep and 6 inches apart. You can move large types to 1.5 feet apart and dwarf or medium-sized cultivars to 1 foot apart. Water well after planting.

Add mulch.

witmerphotography/Getty

Apply a 3 to 4 inch layer of mulch to conserve moisture and keep down weeds. Sunflowers are drought-resistant, but they’ll grow better if you water them regularly from the time the flowers begin to develop until they’re mature.

Keep a watchful eye.

Sunflowers are remarkably trouble-free, but there are a few issues to watch for. You should rotate your crop if verticillium — a soil fungus that produces dead areas along leaf veins — becomes a problem.

To protect seeds from birds, you can cover flowers with mesh bags, cheesecloth, old pantyhose, or perforated plastic bags. An early autumn may interfere with pollination and cause the plant to form empty seeds, but you can avoid this problem by planting earlier the following year.

Harvest your sunflowers.

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Harvest the seeds as soon as they start to turn brown, or the backs of the seed heads turn yellow. You can tell because the heads usually begin to droop when they’re ready f0r harvesting.

Cut your sunflowers along with several inches of stem. You can gift them or use them to brighten your kitchen table or office.

To dry them out for animal fodder, hang upside down in a dry, well-ventilated place — such as a garage or attic — until fully dry. You can then store them in plastic bags or glass jars for birds and animal food.

Roast the seeds.

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To cook your sunflower seeds, soak them overnight in water (or strong salt water, if a salty flavor is desired), drain, and spread them on a shallow baking sheet. Roast for 3 hours at 200 degrees Fahrenheit or until crisp.

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