Many people grow sunflowers, but have no idea what to do with the heads once they are fully formed. As it turns out, roasting your own sunflower seeds is super easy, and even fun.
Step one: Harvest and dry the heads. These were in the hoop house for a couple of weeks before they were fully dried, so be patient.
Step two: Gather the seeds. I highly recommend gloves of some sort during this process, as sunflowers can be a little prickly.
Simply hold the sunflower head firmly and push the seeds off with your thumb.
Step three: Soak seeds in salt water. Cover unshelled seeds with salt water, using 1/4 to 1/2 cup of salt per quart of water. Soak overnight and drain thoroughly.
If you are on a low sodium diet or prefer your seeds unsalted, you can skip this step entirely.
Step four: Roast seeds in shallow baking pans at 300 degrees Fahrenheit until golden brown, stirring occasionally. This should take 30 to 40 minutes, but could be longer. These took about an hour.
When seeds are golden brown, remove from oven. Add your favorite seasoning, or enjoy them plain!