My usual experience with sunflowers is late fall pheasant hunting. As you walk through the field of uncut flowers the heavy heads knock against you and makes for a very unpleasant walk. They also give great cover to hiding birds, which can make filling a limit take all day.
This year I didn’t get to go hunting and found the crop to be quite lovely. I decided to try my hand at making salted, roasted sunflower seeds. They turned out quite well.
My dad and I pick out a few of the best looking heads. Ones that were dry and the birds hadn’t gotten yet. We cut them down and hauled them to the garage, where they sat for about a week to dry a little more.
To remove the seeds I ran my hand over them using a little pressure and they began to fall out. The smaller, underdeveloped seeds towards the center I left. Once the usable seeds were removed I had to sort through them and get rid of those with worm holes. I don’t care how dead the little guy might be I have no interest in eating them.
Then was the easy part, dissolve salt in water and boil the seeds. Once boiled they are spread out onto a few baking sheets and placed in the oven to dry and toast. It doesn’t get much easier than that! However I will most likely buy the finished seeds rather than go through that process every year and there’s not too many things I say that about. It was fun to try and nice to know it works and they taste just the same as a store bought batch, but seriously I don’t like seeds that much.