Sunflower Season

how to roast sunflower seeds
The end of sunflower season unofficially marks fall for the Henstooth Homestead. We pull our sunflowers from the garden and prepare them for roasting, a treat we’ll enjoy into the following Spring!

There are a million sunflower roasting recipes out there, and they all slightly vary. From their salt to water ratio and roasting temperatures.  When we gave our first attempt at roasting sunflower seeds, we made several small batches to determine what we like best, and I’d recommend you do the same. There’s no one size fits all here, and it’s fun to experiment to see what your family likes.  



After pulling each dried up sunflower from the garden, we cut the stem off and pull the seeds. A task best done on the porch. To extract the seeds we just run our thumbs over them popping them into a bowl (and everywhere else).

After harvesting the seeds from each sunflower head, we rinse them of flower debris and transfer them to a saucepan. For every 1 cup of seeds, we add 2 quarts of water and ½ cup of salt. Bring the mix to a boil, then turn the temperature down to a simmer for about an hour. Drain the seeds (but do not rinse) and spread out on a parchment paper lined sheet pan. We usually let our seeds air dry for a bit so they’re not soaking then pop them into a 325 degree pre-heated oven for about 30 minutes until they are lightly browned and fragrant. The time it takes for them to go from lightly browned to burnt, is about .02 seconds so make sure you’re keeping an eye on them. I typically move them around with a spatula a couple times throughout the roasting to make sure they’re cooked evenly and to monitor their color.

If you prefer unsalted sunflower seeds, just follow the same steps and skip adding salt.


Once cooled we put them into an airtight container and grab a handful every now and then in passing. It’s a fun fall treat that’s easy for the whole family to make and enjoy!

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