Sunflower Seed Snacks

Sunflower Seed Snacks


By Mary Emma Allen

When the giant sunflower started growing in our garden, we weren’t surewhat it was because no one had planted sunflowers.  Perhaps the wind blew theseeds there from the bird feeder.   Or a bird dropped it while flying over.

We’ve watched it grow and develop a multitude of flowers.  Thegrandchildren are anticipating picking and drying the seeds.  The bring yellow blossomsbrighten our day and attract the attention of visitors.

A Nutritious Snack

Sunflower seeds can be eaten alone or combined with raisins, nuts, anddried fruits.  They also give salads extra crunch and protein.  They’reinteresting to add to breads or other baked goods.  These seeds and sunflower meal come close to being a complete food in themselves.  They contain protein, calcium. phosphorus, iron, potassium,magnesium, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and vitamins A, D, E, and K.  Vitamin C canbe obtained when you sprout sunflower seeds.Supposedly three tablespoons of sunflower seeds generally yield about 10percent of an adult’s daily protein requirements.

Native to North America

This high protein food is believed to be native to North America, andwas taken to Europe by the early Spanish explorers.  From there, it spreadthroughout the Middle East and Asia.  Finally sunflower seeds were introduced into the Americasagain as a food and have become a popular food in this country.The American Indians were using sunflower seeds long before the whiteman arrived.  They made bread from the seeds by parching them, then poundingthem into a meal.  This was mixed with marrow before the natives baked them on hotstones.

TOASTED SEEDS - Place seeds on a pan in a pre-heated oven at 350 degreesF. for a few minutes.  Another recipe says to roast them at 300 F. for 15minutes.  Or you can fry them in oil.  Then salt the seeds lightly if desired.

ADD TO RECIPES - Try experimenting with toasted sunflower seeds invarious recipes to add protein to your meals.  

SUNFLOWER SEED SNACK - Pop 1/2 cup corn.  Then lightly sauté 1/2 cup sunflower seeds in 2-3 tablespoons oil until the seeds are lightlybrowned.  Stir in 1 cup molasses.  Add 1/2 cup roasted peanuts.  Simmer over low heat until themixture is thin and bubbly.Then pour everything over the popcorn in a large bowl.  Mix gently until the corn is well coated.  This snack, when cooled, may be stored in an airtightcontainer.

(c) 2001 Mary Emma Allen

About the Author
Mary Emma Allen has been writing cooking columns for 30 years and has compiled a family cookbook.  She’s currently compiling a cookbook/storybook, "Tales From a Country Kitchen."  Visit her web site for more cooking articlesat can email her at

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