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Sunflower Seeds: All You Ever Want to Know: Plant, Harvest, Cook

Updated on April 5, 2018
angela_michelle profile image

Angela, though not a natural green thumb, has studied gardening in order to better care for her yard.

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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 Seeds

Click thumbnail to view full-size
As bees pollinate the sunflowers, more and more tiny flowerettes will produce on top of the seeds. As the flower gets older, the flowerettes will fill the entire sunflowerOnce you notice the flowerettes begin falling off, you can begin to look at the coloring of the seeds. Once the seeds begin to appear darkened, they are ready to be harvested. First brush off all the flowerettes. Then spread your finger over the top of the sunflower seeds and they will begin to fall out. This is a long process.Once you harvest them, it is time to bake them and snack.
As bees pollinate the sunflowers, more and more tiny flowerettes will produce on top of the seeds.
As bees pollinate the sunflowers, more and more tiny flowerettes will produce on top of the seeds. | Source
As the flower gets older, the flowerettes will fill the entire sunflower
As the flower gets older, the flowerettes will fill the entire sunflower | Source
Once you notice the flowerettes begin falling off, you can begin to look at the coloring of the seeds.
Once you notice the flowerettes begin falling off, you can begin to look at the coloring of the seeds. | Source
Once the seeds begin to appear darkened, they are ready to be harvested. First brush off all the flowerettes. Then spread your finger over the top of the sunflower seeds and they will begin to fall out. This is a long process.
Once the seeds begin to appear darkened, they are ready to be harvested. First brush off all the flowerettes. Then spread your finger over the top of the sunflower seeds and they will begin to fall out. This is a long process. | Source
Once you harvest them, it is time to bake them and snack.
Once you harvest them, it is time to bake them and snack. | Source

Sunflower Seeds Nutrition Facts

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1 cup
Calories 830
Calories from Fat684
% Daily Value *
Fat 76 g117%
Saturated fat 8 g40%
Carbohydrates 28 g9%
Sugar 0 g
Fiber 15 g60%
Protein 23 g46%
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.

Sunflower Seeds

5 stars from 1 rating of Sunflower Seeds

Cook Time

Prep time: 1 hour
Cook time: 30 min
Ready in: 1 hour 30 min
Yields: Many snack sizes

Ingredients

  • 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

The black part is the part that you will flavor, but the husked portion is the edible part of the sunflower.
The black part is the part that you will flavor, but the husked portion is the edible part of the sunflower. | Source

How To Harvest and Flavor Sunflower Seeds

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Once soaked with salt water, place on a paper towel to dry.
  5. Grease the pan or cookie sheet with oil or butter.
  6. Place the sunflower seeds in a pan.
  7. Bake for 30 minutes at 300 degrees, stirring occasionally to prevent browning.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.

Source

http://www.healthdiaries.com/eatthis/6-health-benefits-of-sunflower-seeds.html

© 2013 Angela Michelle Schultz

Comments

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    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 

      3 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      I love sunflowers, but I never had the seeds before. I would love to give it a go. Voted up for useful. Lovely photos!

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      5 years ago

      Sunflowers seeds are a really good healthy snack and I love the taste when they are flavored with something spicy. Good post and very well done.

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image

      Kathryn 

      5 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      I love sunflower seeds, and the flowers are very pretty and cheery. Good hub! If I had a yard I would definitely think of growing some.

    • idigwebsites profile image

      idigwebsites 

      5 years ago from United States

      I love sunflowers, they make me cheery every time I see them. I also munch on sunflower seeds. Thanks for the recipe. Up, useful and a following :)

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 

      5 years ago from the short journey

      I'm putting "Start Sunflower Seeds" on my March calendar right now--thanks for the reminder, and for the recipe!

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 

      5 years ago from Arizona

      Great photos and very interesting...I use sunflower seeds all the time in cooking.

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