Harvesting and Roasting Sunflower Seeds - Knowledgebase Question

Missoula, MT
Question by wordsmth
October 28, 1997
When and how do you harvest, salt, and roast sunflower seeds.


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Answer from NGA
October 28, 1997

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Let the seeds dry outdoors, or cut off the flower, leaving 3 or 4 inches of stem attached, and bring it indoors to dry in a warm, airy spot. (You can place a paper bag over the head to keep the seeds from falling out.) To remove the seeds, rub the head on wire mesh set over a bucket.

Here's a recipe for roasting unshelled seeds, from Carla Emery's "Encyclopedia of Country Living" (ISBN#
0-912365-95-1). "Put the seeds in the bottom of a 3-gallon crock or some such. Add water to fill and half a box of salt (or use 2 gal.water and a 26 oz. box of salt). Stir and then leave to soak for a week. Now spread the seeds on a tray and roast in your oven at 350F, stirring at least every 10 minutes to get the damp ones evenly distributed. It will take about an hour to dry them all through. Test to make sure, observing and cracking samples. The development of a
whitish color shows they are getting done, and inside the shell they should be dry instead of still soggy. Watch carefullyto prevent burning. After the seeds come out of the oven, they are done and ready to eat. Store in a cool, dry place." Enjoy!

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