Sunflowers are a beautiful addition to the landscape of a house, with the bonus of edible seeds. The outer shell of the sunflower seed is black-and-white striped once they mature. Sunflowers seeds are a healthy alternative to other snacks because they are high in vitamin E, magnesium and phosphorus. The nutrients in the seeds may help to lower cholesterol and help prevent cardiovascular disease. If you want to prepare sunflower seeds as a snack, you can roast and flavor them at home. Once the seeds are roasted, flavors can be added to make them pop.
Soak seeds overnight in a half a cup of salt per two quarts of water. Make sure all seeds are saturated by mixing. After an overnight soak, line seeds on large flat microwavable plate. Microwave high one minute. Remove the plate, stir and toss the seeds, and repeat cook time for another minute. Remove, stir, and cook for one minute at a time up to five minutes or until the seeds are crispy.
Prep seeds by rinsing unshelled sunflower seeds under cool water in the sink to remove any debris and dirt from the seeds. Pour the seeds into a saucepan. Add two quarts of cool water and 1/4 cup of salt. Stir until the salt dissolves. Bring the water to a boil on the stovetop. Place a lid on the saucepan and reduce the heat to simmer the seeds for two hours.
Remove the sunflower seeds from the saucepan by pouring them into a colander. Rinse the seeds off with cool water, and then spread them out on a layer of paper towels. Pat the sunflower seeds dry with the paper towels. Preheat your oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Spread the sunflower seeds onto a baking sheet in a single layer. Place the seeds in the oven to roast them for 30 minutes. Stir the sunflower seeds after 15 minutes to keep them from burning.
Buttered Sunflower Seeds
Pour 2 cups of warm sunflower seeds into a plastic sealed storage bag. Add 1 tsp. of olive oil or melted butter and 2 tbsp. of your preferred seasoning. Seasonings that you can use to flavor sunflower seeds include salt, cayenne pepper, garlic and dry barbecue seasoning.
Seal the plastic bag and shake it to coat the seeds with the oil and seasoning. Pour the sunflower seeds on a towel to absorb excess moisture, then eat and enjoy.
Honey Roasted Sunflower Seeds
Mix two cups of sunflower seeds with three tablespoons of warm honey, two tablespoons of sunflower oil, and half a teaspoon of salt. Spread on a baking sheet and bake in the oven at 325 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes until the seeds turn a golden color. Stir the mix often through baking so the seeds do not burn. They will come out like candy; break apart and serve!
Old Bay Spicy Sunflower Seeds
Mix 2 cups of seeds with one cup of water and half a cup of Old Bay seasoning. Drain mix, and spread seats on a foil-covered baking sheet. Bake at 300 degrees for 30 minutes or until the seeds turn a golden brown. Snack away!
Unshelled and Salty Sunflower Seeds
If you have sunflower seeds that have already been shelled, a quick, flavorful and easy way to roast them is to mix seeds with sunflower oil and bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes. While they are hot from the oven, lightly salt the seeds. This is great for a salty snack or added to a mix with chocolate.
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Angela LaFollette holds a Bachelor of Arts in advertising with a minor in political science from Marshall University. LaFollette found her passion for writing during an internship as a reporter for "The West Virginia Standard" in 2007. She has more than six years of writing experience and specializes in topics in garden and pets.