Harvesting Sunflower Seeds - Knowledgebase Question

San Pedro, CA
Question by Shanfam5
August 9, 1998
I would like to know what to do with the seeds so that we can eat them. Someone told me that you can cook them in the oven. If you can help me I would appreciate it very much. I have about 10 plants that are taller than I am.


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Answer from NGA
August 9, 1998

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Harvesting sunflowers and preparing them to eat is easy! Harvest as soon as seeds start to turn brown, or the backs of the seed heads turn yellow. The heads usually droop when they're ready. Cut them along with 2' of stem and hang them upside down in a dry, well-ventilated place, such as a garage or attic, until fully dry. Rub two seed heads together to extract the seeds, or use a wire brush. Soak seeds overnight in a strong brine solution, drain, spread on a shallow baking sheet, and roast for 3 hours at 200F degrees or until crisp. Store in an airtight container.

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