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How to Toast Sunflower Seeds

I planted a bunch of sunflower seeds this year, but I only ended up with a few sunflowers. Apparently I forgot to tell my husband where I planted them. I planted sunflowers in a variety of colors and sizes, but one of my favorite is the mammoth sunflower. Not only are they beautiful and majestic looking, you can harvest sunflower seeds from them.


It is easy to grow sunflowers. They do not require a lot of maintenance. Mine grew to at least 12 feet tall, although I have seen some much taller.

toasting sunflower seeds

Sunflower seeds can be harvested at the end of the summer, when the tall sunflower droops and looks like it is dying. They look so sad when they get to this point but then it is ready to get the seeds.

First remove the seeds from the sunflower head. It takes about an hour to get them all out. Place them in a bowl or colander and rinse them well to remove all the dirt and little critters that may be hiding in them.

There are several ways to toast sunflower seeds. If you would like to salt them in the shell, then it is necessary to first soak them in salt water. Place the sunflower seeds in a bowl of 2 quarts water and 1/4 to 1/2 cup salt. Let them soak in the salt water overnight.

To toast them in the oven, preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Place the sunflower seeds on a rimmed cookie sheet and bake for about 30 minutes, or until brown and crisp, stirring occasionally. Before you bake them you can also add 1 tsp. vegetable oil or melted butter or margarine per cup of sunflower seeds. Stir well to coat.

Another way to toast them is to place them in a skillet on the stove and cook for about 10 minutes until they are brown and toasted.

Copyright 2012, Creative Homemaking, LLC. This article may not be reprinted.

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Rachel Paxton
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