Roasting Sunflower Seeds

Sunflowers are a joy all summer.. climbing to the sky, their large yellow heads following the track of the sun…

They are also a great attractor for pollinators, so I like to put a handful of them in the corner of the vegetable garden, where they act like a giant billboard calling the pollinators in and over to our vegetables.

Most years, the neighborhood squirrels get to the ripe heads full of seeds before I can. In the last decade, much of my summer vegetable gardening was done between work travel, squeezed in between plane hops and household chores. But in this year of COVID, I have been home every day, tending and loving the garden as a sort of meditation… and I claimed the sunflowers as a reminder of the garden to take me into the winter.

I had 9 plants that produced useable heads.. some larger than others. David helped to harvest the seeds from the dried heads and then dried them on screens for a few days….

As someone with POTS/EDS/NCS, I look for ways to increase my salt intake, so salted and roasted sunflowers in the shell are a huge treat. I decided to set some of the seeds aside for planting more next year, and then processed 12 C of seeds.

First step is to Boil the seeds in a salt water solution for an hour……
The Boiled Seeds are drained and slightly cooled. Then they are spread on Baking Sheets and roasted in the oven at 400 F for 20 minutes.
After Roasting, they have the lovely white from the salt solution…

If you are someone who does better with video, check out this short montage of the roasting process :

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