One of my favorite snacks are salted, roasted sunflower seeds. My grandma taught me how to crack them in my mouth when I was just a kid, and I love that they give me something to do without racking up the calories quickly.
Since the sunflowers are one of the things that did really well in our garden this year, I figured it would be a good time to try roasting them at home. It’s not an incredibly intensive process and we were rewarded with a bagful of yummy sunflower seeds to snack on.
Sunflower heads (or raw in-shell seeds)
*tip* when birds start stealing seeds from the sunflower head and the seeds come out easily, the seeds are ready to be harvested
When sunflowers are ready to be harvested, cut the heads off. Remove the seeds and discard any that that been damaged by insects. Rinse well the remaining seeds, then place in large bowl. Cover with water and salt (for every quart/four cups of water, add 1/4 cup salt). Stir well and let soak overnight, stirring occasionally. Drain water and let drip dry. Preheat oven to 300F. Put seeds in a single layer on a baking sheet. Sprinkle more salt over the top if desired (we did and they ended up with just the right amount of saltiness). Roast 20 minutes and check–if they’re still damp, stir carefully and roast another 10 to 20 minutes. Be careful not to overbake–the shell doesn’t change color even though the seed inside may be scorching. Let cool and taste test one or two seeds until preferred doneness. Cool completely and store in an airtight container. Store in freezer if not consumed within three months.