White Sunflower

In this post, I share how I roast in shell my new white sunflower seeds.  This was an amazing treat to grow in the garden and now preparing them as a snack.  Be sure to scroll down this post to see images and step by step recipe on how to do this.  I share directions using the Oven Air Fryer option for quick treat making.

roast sunflower seed in shell
Roast in Shell White Sunflower Seeds is a great activity to do with family and friends!

Not All Sunflowers are For Human Consumption

I watched a funny video featuring a TV movie star who was sharing a live stream about her sunflowers she grew.  Luckily she had chickens so the critters got a nice treat.  Not all sunflowers are meant for human consumption.  I mean – you can eat them but you may not like the flavor. Seeds like the Black Oil Sunflower.  My friend Leslie grew a big patch of these on her farm this year.  They are amazing to see but not so good to eat.  I did save one of her flower heads to show you.

Riker Seed - sunflowers 2020
Black Oil Seed Sunflowers in the Field

PHOTO of Leslie Rikers Black Oil Sunflower in Farm Field 

I guess the actress grew this variety judging by the looks of the flower. I also think she harvest the flower head too soon.  You have to let the flower finish it’s bloom time before harvest.  If you have a lot of birds in your garden you have to keep an eye on this so they don’t get the seeds before you do!


black oil sunflower in field at the end of season

An older gentleman once told me that once the sunflower head droops over and the flower peddles dry up it is ready to be harvest.  Use a pruner to cut these back for best results.

Roast in Shell White Sunflower Seeds

The recipe is super simple to make at home once you harvest your seed.  I let mine sit indoors for a few weeks mostly because I didn’t have time to prepare them.  You will want to keep them in a dry and cool location where critters and bugs can’t get at the seeds. Be very careful to not let the drying flower mold.

Play Video

This video is part of my Bren Haas Channel.  Please scroll down and share comments below.

Giant White Sunflower Seeds

You won’t eat as much because you have to work at the shell to get to the seed. 

Roast in Shell White Sunflower Seed

Today I am going to share a few simple steps using the Power Oven Air Fryer.  I am on my 2nd air fryer – the first I swear I used daily from 2015-2020.  It died.. and I quickly bought a new one.  I need to do a formal review to show you how amazing these devices are.  Today I am using the one I bought from Home Depot but you can find them on Amazon.

tiny seed sunflower

This was a fun experiment and I can tell you I won’t do this often. However, I save plenty of these seeds that I didn’t roast to grow next year and to give to the birds.

Roast in Shell White Sunflower Seeds

Recipe by BrenHaas.comCourse: SnackCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Medium


Prep time


Baking Time




  • Dried Sunflower Seeds (about 2-4 cups)

  • Pinch of Salt


  • Remove seeds from the dried flower.  Rinse seed to make sure it is clean.

  • Boil sunflower seeds in salted water: Place sunflower seeds, pinch of salt, and water into a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and simmer for at least 10 minutes.

  • Drain the water from the seeds and spread the seeds out in a single layer in a sheet pan.

  • Spread seeds on a sheet pan or air fryer tray to roast. Place in a 400°F oven on the top rack and roast for 10 to 15 minutes. This will be less time in an air fryer.  Be sure to check the seed to make sure it is roasted - if not return to the oven for more time.

  • Be sure the seeds have been dried in a clean and low light environment so mold and bugs do not set in.
sunflowers in the garden
Sunflowers in My Home Garden

Let’s Connect

I would love to hear about your sunflower roast in shell adventures.  Please be sure to comment n my website.  If you happen to be a fan of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or YouTube feel free to tag me @brenhaas.  I love connecting with you all.

Happy Roast in Shell White Sunflower Seed FUN TIME,

Bren Haas

7 Responses

  1. Hello,
    Please tell me where you obtained you beautiful white sunflower seeds,
    Thank you,

    1. The seeds in this post are from the MAMMOTH GREY STRIPED SUNFLOWER!

    2. Thank you for asking Mandy. This seed was purchased from Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company.

  2. What variety of sunflower is this? I have received sunflower seeds from a seed library simply marked as “sunflower.” I would like to know the variety to look up care requirements.

    1. These are “mammoth grey striped sunflower”. I hope this helps. I saved a bunch of seeds to try growing them again this year.

    1. Thanks for asking… I need to add that to the recipe. Basically for ever cup of sunflower I sprinkle in about 1 teaspoon of salt. You don’t need salt but it just helps the process.

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