As summer nears the end, so do the lives of a garden favorite: the precious sunflower. They smile all season long until one day, around the beginning of August, they bow down to signify the culmination of summer. With some help from our local community garden, we’ve provided you some tricks for harvesting and roasting their seeds to prolong their splendor even after they’re gone!
How to harvest:
1. Wait for the heads of the sunflowers to drop, after all the petals have fallen off, and the backside of the sunflower has turned yellow or even brown.
2. Cut about a foot of stalk mobile game for girls cooking off the top.
3. Scrape the seeds out with a spoon or butter knife OR, if you’re more patient, put a net or brown paper bag over the flower head and wait for the seeds to drop on their own.
4. Air dry the seeds for future use next growing season.
How to roast:
1. Remove the seeds from the shell and place a single layer of the raw seed kernels in a shallow pan.
2. Roast the seeds in a 300º F oven for 30 to 40 minutes or until the seeds are crisp and brown.
3. Stir occasionally to prevent scorching.
4. Remove from the oven and add a teaspoon of melted margarine per cup of seeds if desired.
5. Stir to coat and place on a piece of absorbent paper. Salt to taste.