Sunflower Seeds: All You Ever Want to Know: Plant, Harvest, Cook
How To Plant Sunflower Seeds
Sunflowers are fairly easy to grow. In order to optimize the best height and growth, early spring is an ideal time to plant their seeds, although it is important to wait until the last frost in order to protect any new seedlings. Perennial sunflowers grow about two feet tall, while annuals can reach as high as eight feet. The maximum height depends a lot on the weather and how well it is cared for
- Choose a spot in your garden, where the flowers will get plenty of sun.
- They do best with at least six hours of sun. Shade is not important, therefore they can get continual sun without harming them.
- They also need lots of water, especially early on in the growing season.
- The flowers should be planted at a very specific distance from one another, which depends on what kind of sunflowers are bought. Therefore, read the individual seed packets.
- It is ideal to have well fertilized soil, so composting or fertilizing is a great idea.
- Plant the seeds at least two inches into the soil. Having the soil well-tilled is important to help roots grow deep.
How To Harvest Sunflower SeedsClick thumbnail to view full-size
Sunflower Seeds Nutrition Facts
|Serving size: 1 cup|
|Calories from Fat||684|
|% Daily Value *|
|Fat 76 g||117%|
|Saturated fat 8 g||40%|
|Carbohydrates 28 g||9%|
|Sugar 0 g|
|Fiber 15 g||60%|
|Protein 23 g||46%|
|Cholesterol 0 mg|
|Sodium 4 mg|
|* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.|
- 2 quarts water
- 1/4 cup salt
- sunflower seeds, unhusked
- 1 tsp butter or olive oil
- 2 Tbs dry seasoning, of your choice
A Husked and Unhusked Sunflower
How To Harvest and Flavor Sunflower Seeds
- After you harvest sunflower seeds, rinse thoroughly to get rid of dirt and debris. The best way to do this is to put sunflower seeds in a deep pot, then scoop the sunflower seeds out. The sunflowers will rise to the top, debris and dirt will go to the bottom. Also damaged sunflower seeds often will sink as well.
- Then, sift through the seeds to rid of any damaged ones. Flat sunflower seeds or ones with holes in them are not good for eating.
- Place sunflowers in a large bowl or pot, add water and salt, then let them soak for 1 hour. If you would like a deeper flavor, you may soak them overnight.
- Once soaked with salt water, place on a paper towel to dry.
- Grease the pan or cookie sheet with oil or butter.
- Place the sunflower seeds in a pan.
- Bake for 30 minutes at 300 degrees, stirring occasionally to prevent browning.
- Once baked, you can place two cups of warm sunflower seeds in a plastic bag with a tsp of olive oil or butter, and coat them with the seasoning of your choice, such as: salt, cayenne pepper, garlic. Any flavoring that tastes great on popcorn will taste great on sunflower seeds. Then shake the bag to maximize full coverage of sunflower seeds.
- Then let them cool and enjoy!
Benefits of Sunflower Seeds
- Sunflower seeds are highly beneficial for your heart, your immune system, your bones, and skin.
- They contain Vitamin E, which is key in preventing cardiovascular disease and protects our skin from ultraviolet rays.
- Vitamin E is also an anti-inflammatory, which means it helps prevent inflammation that asthma, arthritis, or bowel disease causes.
- Contains magnesium, which helps calm our nerves and encourages bone growth, and prevents bone loss.
© 2013 Angela Michelle Schultz