We didn’t get a chance to grow any sunflowers in our garden this year (something about my husband being home for three months with a recovering shoulder joint) but my uncle did and his sunflowers were enormous. When we visited my family for Victoria’s birthday party he gave me one of the giant sunflower’s heads, full of seeds and warped by the enormous weight of it, I wrapped it in a paper bag as best I could and Isobel and I plucked each seed from the prickly head when we returned home. She also insisted on gathering the sunny yellow petals.
I hope to plant some and grow them through the fall and into winter. They have a good change of survival, I think, as we normally don’t get frost until after Christmas. The rest we are going to roast.
Isobel is already addicted to eating the seeds absolutely plain, uncooked, unsalted, and still in their shell. (She may have caught me eating a few handfuls this way.) But really I want to roast them. Now it had been years since I roasted my own seeds (our flowers from last year were all barren) so stopped by the National Sunflower Association to peek at their recommended oven temperature. I’m so glad I did because they presented a variation of roasted sunflowers that I can’t wait to try.
- Sunflower seeds, still in their zebra shells
- Cover your seeds with an inch of water and add about 1/2 cup salt per quart of water used. I tend to just eyeball it.
- Soak the seeds in the brine overnight. Drain and pat or air dry.
- Preheat your oven to 300 degrees F.
- Spread the seeds on an ungreased cookie sheet and roast for thirty to forty minutes, until golden brown. Cool completely before storing.
- Now, the variation I’m excited about, pour melted butter over the portion you are going to eat immediately. It’s like popcorn sunflower seeds! So good.