Sunflower Seeds

Sunny Sunflower Seeds 

out of the bird feeder and onto your plate!


"Eagle of flowers! I see thee stand, And on the sun's noon-glory gaze; With eye like his, thy lids expand, And fringe their disk with golden rays: Though fix'd on earth, in darkness rooted there, Light is thy element, thy dwelling air, Thy prospect heaven."

          -James Montgomery

Nutrients of Love:

These little guys are packed with vitamin E at 82% per quarter cup, and are a healing anti-inflammatory; also, they are high in nutrients copper and vitamin B1 and B6. Next to pumpkin seeds, they are the highest nut-based storehouse of phytosterol compounds (help to lower cholesterol), preventing cardiovascular disease and augmenting immunity; They are also high in minerals magnesium and selenium which in turn have their own health benefits, especially upon the liver.


best to store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator due to their high fat content. They can also be stored in the freezer.


Simple from Scratch


 Soaking the wee seeds beforehand unleashes their inner power! It is the same force that transforms the quiet seed into a blazing radiant flower! Presoaking seeds, nuts and grains neutralizes enzyme inhibitors that prevent the body from absorbing their beneficial nutrients. For most uses, soak seeds overnight or for a period of 7 to 24 hours in warm salt water:

          2 cups raw seeds

          3-4 cups warm filtered water

          1 Tbsp high-quality salt

  Place the warm water in a medium bowl or jar (half gallon or larger). Add the salt and let dissolve.

  1. Add the nuts or seeds, making sure they are completely submerged in the water.
  2. Leave uncovered on the counter or other warm place (not the refrigerator) for at least 7 hours, preferably overnight.
  3. Rinse in a colander and spread on a baking sheet or dehydrator sheet. Bake in the oven at the lowest temperature (150 F is optimal) or dehydrate until completely dry. This step is important, as any remaining moisture in the nuts or seeds can cause them to mold. Dehydrating time can often be up to 24 hours, so a dehydrator simplifies the process but isn’t necessary.
  4. NOTE: If you plan to use nuts or seeds to make homemade nut milk or any other variety, this is the optimal time, as they are already softened. This is an important step in the homemade nut milk process as the enzyme inhibitors are mostly removed and the nuts are already softened to make a more creamy milk.


Non-irradiated seeds and only certain varieties will sprout while others may not. Through sprouting, enzyme inhibitors can be further reduced, making this step beneficial for those with digestive problems or severe nutrient deficiencies.

To learn more about sprouting your own seeds, visit this page:


*Grind into flour using a coffee grinder, blender; or, for an old-fashioned take, use a mortar and pestle!  You may substitute them for a portion of regular flour in a recipe

*Substitute for pine nuts in foods like pesto due to high oil content

*Toss them on salads, sprinkle on cereals, granola and anything else you wish!

*Make sunflower butter: roast in a thin layer on large-rimmed baking sheet at 350 degrees, for about 25 minutes, or until they have a nutty aroma and golden color; prevent burning by watching and stirring about every 10 minutes, then place/grind in food processor fitted with an S blade for about 10 minutes, or until they reach a creamy consistency.

**note: a food processor might prove difficult and may heat the seeds, harming their vital enzyme force; using a juicer (fitted with a homogenizing blank screen attachment) could be another option, passing the seeds through multiple times until they are well ground


Other recipes


Raw Sunflower Seed Pate


      100g (3/4 cup) raw sunflower seeds

      2 lemons

      Lemon zest (up to 1 teaspoon)

      1 teaspoon sea salt

      1 heaped teaspoon ground coriander

      1 bunch (60g) coriander leaves (cilantro)

      I clove of garlic

Soak sunflower seeds overnight (or for at least 7 hours), then drain and rinse.

Juice lemons and add to jug with soaked seeds.

Finely grate up to 1 teaspoon of lemon zest (to your preferred zingi-ness).

Add salt and ground coriander.

Crush garlic.

Roughly chop coriander leaves.

Blend until everything is blended together beautifully.


Vegan tuna (sunflower) salad


      1 c raw hulled sunflower seeds

      Juice of 1/2 lemon

      2 tsp dijon mustard


      2 Tbsp fresh dill, coarsely chopped

      2 Tbsp parsley leaves, coarsely chopped

      ¼ tsp paprika

      1 stalk celery with leaves, chopped

      1 small shallot, chopped

      Black pepper

Pre-soak the sunny seeds as described above. Drain them, and pulse half the amount with the lemon juice, mustard and salt in food processor until almost smooth. Add the remaining seeds and remainder of ingredients. Pulse until reach desired texture


Sunshine (vegan) burgers


      200g Sunflower seeds (feel free to swap out different kinds of seeds)

      100g Pumpkin seeds

      300g Carrots approximately 2 large)

      1 large clove of garlic

      1 teaspoon sea salt

      Small handful dried parsley (or fresh)

Grind seeds in a food processor until you get a rustic meal (some floury, some rustic).

Chop carrots into small cubes and boil until you can pierce them easily with a fork (or they are a maskable consistency).

Either mash the carrots (if you don't mind a little bit of rustic-ness) or blend them to a puree with a food processor if you want them super smooth.

Crush the garlic or finely chop.

Add the mashed carrots, ground seeds into a mixing bowl with the crushed garlic and add the salt and dried parsley.

Mix thoroughly. This is easy if you use the back of a metal spoon and use a pressing motion, alternated with mixing. Mix until everything is thoroughly combined and you get a mix that will stick together really well

Take dollops of the mix (more or less depending on how big you want your patties).

Shape into round, about 1.5cm thick.

Pop any that you want to bake immediately onto a baking tray (lightly oiled or with parchment paper).

Put any that you want to save into a container and freeze (but be sure to separate layers of the patties with parchment paper). You can also do the same and keep in the fridge for a few days if you aren't ready to cook them immediately.

Enjoy hot or cold as part of dinner, lunch, lunch box, picnic or travel food.


Nutmeat (serves 4 (4-5 cups)



      1 large tomato

      1 ½ cups sunflower seeds or nuts of your choice (pre-soaked)

       2 cups completed kush* (see below)

      1 tablespoon chili powder

       ¾ cup Delights Natural Bar-Be-Que Sauce* (see below)


First puree the tomato in a food processor. Clean the food processor and then, using the “S” blade, finely chop the sunflower seeds or nuts.  In a large bowl, combine the kush with the chopped sunflower seeds. Add the chili powder and stir together with a large spoon.  Finally, cut the sauce and pureed tomato into the kush-seed mixture. 



*Kush: (serves 4, abt 3 cups)



      1 cup dry kush (cracked bulgar wheat)

      ½ tsp garlic powder

      ¼ tsp curry powder

      2 Tbs tamari (or soy sauce)

      1 cup spring water

      1 Tbs extra virgin cold pressed olive oil

      1 medium green bell pepper, diced

      ¼ small red onion, diced

      1 medium carrot, shredded


Put the dry kush into a mixing bowl and add the spices. Next cut the tamari into the mixture with a large spoon. Then add the water (just enough to provide about a ¼-inch layer of water atop the kush.  Stir well and mat down the mixture evenly so the kush will be evenly soaked. Cover and let sit for 25 to 30 minutes.  After soaking, add the oil and stir. Then add the vegetables and stir again. When complete, feel free to taste and adjust the seasonings or add any different vegetables.


*note: using hot water allows the kush to be made more quickly. However, kush made with hot water should be refrigerated if not being served immediately because it will spoil more quickly than if using cold.


*Natural Bar-Be-Que Sauce



      20 sun-dried tomatoes

      4 tomatoes

      1 cup honey, or 1 ¼ cups raisins

      1 Tbs vinegar (optional)

      1 Tbs molasses (opt)

      2 Tbs tamari or soy sauce or salt substitute

      2 tsp dried thyme

      2 tsp paprika

      1 tsp chili powder


Soak the dried tomatoes for 2 hours in water. Combine all the ingredients (including the soaked tomatoes) in a food processor using the “S” blade, until a thick sauce-like consistency is reached.



Sunflower Artichokes, with Galinsoga and Sunflower Oil

Here’s a recipe for the full sunflower experience! If you are interested in growing your own sunflowers, Young sunflower buds can be harvested and eaten ! Check out this cool blog to learn more:


       1 sunflower artichoke cut into 1 inch triangles  see recipe

       4 ounces galinsoga (a couple handfuls cleaned, tender growing tips only, a few flowers reserved for garnish if you can find some

       Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

       virgin sunflower oil for finishing

       Fresh lemon juice

       Toasted sunflower seeds to garnish

       1 large clove of garlic lightly crushed with the back of a knife

       1 tablespoon unsalted butter optional

       2 tablespoons dry white wine sub water or stock in a pinch


  1. In a saute pan, warm the crushed clove of garlic with the 2 tablespoon of butter and gently brown it on medium heat. Add the sunflower artichokes and brown gently with the garlic, being careful not to burn the garlic. Add the galinsoga and toss to wilt, but don't let it brown.
  2. Discard the garlic. Deglaze the pan with a splash of wine, then cook, stirring occasionally until the galinsoga is completely wilted. If there is excess liquid in the pan, cook it down a bit to concentrate it.
  3. Taste the greens for seasoning and adjust if needed, then use a tongs to remove the greens to two separate serving plates or wide, small bowls, arrange the sunflower bud pieces around each one, drizzle with the Sunflower oil and lemon to taste, garnish with the galinsoga flowers serve immediately



Food fun facts


      Sunflower oil became popular during 18th century Europe during the Lenten season, as it was not on the prohibited foods list  by russian orthodox church

      The Sunflower is the national flower of Russia and the state flower of Kansas, USA.

      The Sunflower is notable for turning to face the Sun, a behaviour known as heliotropism.

      Sunflower heads consist of 1,000 to 2,000 individual flowers joined together

      The largest sunflower head on record: Canadian grown at 32 1/2 inches across its widest point!



Past and Current uses of sunflower seeds, and the sunflower!:


Native to north America, the sunflower was cultivated by the Native Americans as long ago as 3000 BC, who used the seeds in addition to all parts of the plant, from the flowers, to the roots and stems. For instance, for use in ceremony and textiles, seed hulls produced purple and dark colored dye, and the stems/leaves/roots produced light green/yellow dyes. The dried stalk could be used building material; the plant and seeds were used in ceremony.


One could eat the unopened flower bud as a vegetable and seeds were valued for their oil.  Medicinal uses included for snake bite, cough remedy (oil placed in tea), wart removal, to body ointments. In Peru, ceremonial golden images of the flower adorned temple walls. Today, the oil is still applied topically to heal skin injuries such as psoriasis. 


Mother earth benefits too ! According to one source, in areas such as land affected by the Chernobyl disaster, sunflowers planted helped cleanse the soil of harmful compounds. Boggy or Marshy areas can also be reclaimed by the sunflower’s ability to absorb large quantities of water!





Delights of the Garden by Imar Hutchins  (cookbook)