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Harvesting and Roasting Sunflower Seeds

I’ve always loved sunflowers. Their cheery vivid golden yellow blooms always put a smile on my face. I finally planted them in our garden this year. They were easy to grow and I was greeted with new flowers every week.

Sunflower Seeds from the Garden

I had always planned on harvesting the seeds but to plant for next year. Some point along the way I decided to harvest them for consumption. It could’ve been Rob’s new obsession with eating them during Shaun’s football practice.

Harvesting and Roasting Sunflower Seeds

Start off with finding blossoms that are drooping, brown and dried on the back of the flower. Cut a

few inches down the stem and shake off any insects. Using gloves vigorously rub off the remaining buds until you see even speckled black and white. These are the tops of the seeds.

Harvesting Sunflower Seeds for Eating


Working over a bowl or large surface massage out the seeds. The drier the flower is the easier it will be.

Harvesting Sunflower Seeds

Remove leaves, pulp and bugs then set your seeds in a large bowl of water. Leave it alone for 24 hours.

Rinse your seeds in a fine colander and place on a paper towel lined cookie sheet. Pat dry and set aside for an hour or so to dry. I like to place them in a sunny spot to get as much moisture out as possible.

prepping sunflower seeds for roasting

Preheat your oven to 300°. Move your seeds to a shallow cookie sheet in an even layer. Do not add oil or salt. Place into oven and roast for 30-40 minutes stirring every 10 minutes. Taste as you go to ensure they are done.

Roasted Sunflower Seeds

Remove from oven, allow to cool and enjoy.

  • The addition of oil, salt and flavorings can be done as soon as your seeds come out of the oven.
  • I recommend harvesting from the LARGE sunflowers. These will have larger seeds.
  • Don’t think you’ll get seeds as large as the ones that come packaged in the store.