Sunflowers are really amazing. They don’t need much care beyond water and sun, they attract bees and other beneficial insects, and they looks great in the garden. And, of course, at the end of the season, you can harvest the seeds.
To harvest sunflower seeds, wait until the back of the flower turns yellow, then cut the head off the stalk. Store the heads of the flowers in a dry, dark place until the seeds fall easily. Voila, sunflower seeds.
(Some people let the seeds dry on the stalk, but I find this annoying because birds eat them, so I prefer to harvest early and dry the seeds in the house.)
Next year, I might try making my own sunflower oil with the seeds, but this year I am going to roast them. They keep for a long time and make a great snack.
How To Roast Sunflower Seeds:
1. After you’ve removed the seeds from the head of the sunflower, soak them overnight in water.
2. The next day, preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
3. Spread the sunflowers evenly over a cookie sheet and add salt and any other herbs or spices–garlic, onion powder, cayenne pepper, etc–that sound appealing.
4. Pop the sunflower seeds in the oven and bake 25 minutes, checking every 10 minutes to make sure they don’t burn.
5. Remove from the oven and let cool. Enjoy!