Roast Your Own Sunflower Seeds
Way back in March I was pretty excited to plant some sunflowers with help from my mom. See their progression on my post where I planted them, and my update filled with photos, Sunflower Lovin’. We started them in little packs, once they sprouted we transplanted them into a planter in our back yard where they would be watered daily by sprinklers. (Takes all the hard work out of growing flowers!)
After constantly asking my mom for gardening advice, I discovered with a little patience I could see my sunflowers mature all summer until they were ready to harvest for seeds. Bugs had their way with a few of my flowers and a couple heads ended up like the photo below.
I found my seeds were ready to harvest when they could easily be pulled out of the flower head with little resistance. We snipped the heads off and placed them in a basket to dry out for about 3 – 4 days.
After they were dry, my mom helped to remove the sides and ends of the sunflower head to expose as much seed as possible for harvesting. With some gardening gloves for protection, we went to work brushing the surface so seeds fell out, then picked out seeds that were big, full, and without holes from bugs to keep for roasting. I did some internet searching to find ways to roast my seeds and found about 6 different ways. I decided to make salted seeds, plain seeds, and flavored seeds; I picked 2 roasting methods to see which one I like best.
Google lead me to Big Red Kitchen where I found this method, which I prefer. Wash seeds thoroughly; place in a colander and run under water in sink at least a few times. Place seeds in a skillet and roast on stove at medium heat. To make salted seeds, add 2 teaspoons salt and stir every few minutes until golden brown and hard. To make my chili and lime seeds, add 2 teaspoons chili powder and 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice and a splash of salt; stir every few minutes until done just like before. Place on a plate to cool a few minutes and enjoy!
A slight adaptation from Vegetable Gardener gave me my second method; rinse seeds like method 1, but this time seeds will be roasted in the oven. Preheat oven to 300 degrees, check and stir seeds every 6 minutes until appear done. These seeds I left plain with no salt for my mom who wanted her seeds to be salt free. Cool seeds like above and store in air tight container. I used these cute reusable spice jars I borrowed from my mom.