Seeds are ready to store or eat when the disk at the back of the flower has turned dark brown. You can easily remove the seeds by rubbing two heads together, or just rubbing your palm over the seeds. You should store raw seeds in a cloth bag in a place with good air circulation. Do not use airtight containers such as jars or tins because they encourage mold development. You may like to eat the seeds raw, if not you can roast them by spreading the seeds in a single layer on a baking sheet, and bake them in a 350º oven for about 10 minutes. When the seeds start to swell and the hulls crack, they are ready. Cool and salt to taste. Some choose to soak the seeds in salt water prior to roasting by soaking the seeds overnight in two tablespoons of salt and one cup of water. After the seeds have been soaked you still need to bake the seeds by spreading seeds thinly on a cookie sheet and roasting in a 200º oven for 3 hours or until crisp. Sunflower seeds are a lot healthier and still very tasty without the salt so I recommend you eating and preparing the seeds without it. I hope you find these tips helpful.
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