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Four Surprising Ways to Eat Sunflowers

We love sunflowers here at She Grows Veg.  They are sun on a stalk and brighten up every veg patch but to us they are much more than a pretty face.  There are a number of really interesting ways you can eat sunflowers that make them worth growing even more.  From microgreens to seeds, and even the heads and unopened flower buds, sunflowers offer a variety of textures and flavours that can enhance your meals.

Sunflower Floristan 1

 Sunflower Floristan

Sunflower Microgreens

Sunflower microgreens are young, tender shoots harvested just after the first true leaves develop. These nutrient-packed greens are rich in vitamins A, B, D, and E, as well as essential minerals like calcium, iron, and zinc.  Microgreens are fantastic as you can grow them year round on your windowsill, meaning you can eat home grown greens in winter!

How to Eat Sunflower Microgreens:

  • Salads: Add a handful of sunflower microgreens to your salads for a crunchy texture and a slightly nutty flavour.
  • Sandwiches and Wraps: Use them as a fresh, crisp layer in sandwiches and wraps.
  • Smoothies: Blend sunflower microgreens into your smoothies for a nutritional boost without altering the flavour too much.
  • Garnishes: Use them to garnish soups, pizzas, and even stir-fries for a vibrant, nutritious touch.

Sunflower Seeds

Sunflower seeds are probably the most well-known edible part of the sunflower. They are packed with healthy fats, protein, and fibre, making them a nutritious and versatile snack.

How to Eat Sunflower Seeds:

  • Raw or Roasted: Enjoy them raw or roast them with a bit of salt or your favourite seasoning for a tasty snack.
  • In Baking: Add sunflower seeds to bread, muffins, or granola bars for added texture and nutrition.
  • Salads and Bowls: Sprinkle them over salads, grain bowls, or yoghurt for a satisfying crunch.
  • Sunflower Seed Butter: Blend roasted sunflower seeds into a creamy spread that can be used like peanut butter on toast, in sandwiches, or in baking.
Sunflower Mongolian Giant 1

 Sunflower Mongolian Giant

Sunflower Heads

Yes, you can eat the entire sunflower head! This part of the sunflower is often overlooked but can be a delightful addition to your culinary experiments, particularly when the seeds are still immature.

How to Eat Sunflower Heads:

  • Grilled or Roasted: Brush sunflower heads with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and grill or roast them until tender. The flavour is reminiscent of artichoke hearts.
  • Sunflower Head ‘Steak’: Slice the sunflower head into thick ‘steaks’ and cook them like you would a portobello mushroom, with your favourite seasonings and a bit of oil.

Unopened Sunflower Buds

Unopened sunflower buds are a unique and delicious treat that many people have yet to discover. They have a texture and flavour somewhat akin to artichokes.

How to Eat Unopened Sunflower Buds:

  • Steamed: Steam the buds until tender and serve with a drizzle of lemon juice and olive oil, or melted butter.
  • Sautéed: Sauté the buds with garlic and herbs for a flavourful side dish.
  • Pickled: Pickle unopened buds in a vinegar brine for a tangy addition to salads and sandwiches.

We just love the versatility of this easy to grow crop.  Why not add sunflowers to your list of edibles to grow this season?

Shop Heirloom Sunflower Seeds

Video – Why You Should be Growing Sunflowers in Your Garden

Video – How to Sow and Grow Sunflowers