Sunflower Seeds

Recipe by Clare Mcelhatton.

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The freshest sunflower seeds- picked straight off the sunflower head.

This guide uses mature sunflower seed heads from Platt Fields Market Garden but homegrown sunflowers can be used. The seeds will start to mature after the leaves have started to droop and brown. You may want to harvest early and ripen indoors to beat the birds and squirrels!


  • Take 1 mature sunflower head and gently brush the seeds using your hand. This can be messy, so is best done outdoors or on some newspaper.

  • As you brush, the seeds should be dislodged and fall out.

  • Once all the seeds have been collected, wash the well in cold water to get rid of mud and fibres

  • Coat the seeds in a little vegetable oil and a pinch of salt and roast in a 200°C oven for 20 minutes.

  • Check the seeds, if the shell has become dry and cracks easily, they are ready. If the shell is still soft, return to the oven for 5 more minutes at a time and keep checking.

  • Once they are out of the oven and cooled slightly they are ready to eat!

  • The shells shouldn’t be eaten, so discard them after eating the seed inside.

  • When roasting, spices such as pepper or smoked paprika can be added along with salt.

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Manchester Urban Diggers are urban community market gardeners based in Greater Manchester where we are making spaces for people to grow food.

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