Can't stop the seeds

Cooking with Cathie

Cathie CampbellFebruary 27, 2013 

For those of you who like sunflower seeds, I'm sure you can relate to those times when you can't stop eating them. Well, that's what I am going through right now, ever since about a month ago when my mom gave me a bag of seeds she purchased from some kids during a fund raiser. Until that time, it had been at least a couple of years since I indulged in the salty snack. Now I'm hooked again! So that is what inspired me to dig through my recipe collection in search of ways to use sunflower seeds. For cooking and baking, use the kind that are already shelled, and your best bet is to use the raw, unsalted kind The others (like salted in the shell) would be good for snacks, and that is what I am doing as I type this. (When nobody's looking, I will turn my keyboard upside-down and shake out the bits of shell!)


Banana sunflower seed cookies

Any form of shelled sunflower seeds can be used, but raw or unsalted is best.

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 medium bananas, very ripe, peeled and mashed
  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup shelled sunflower seeds (kernels)
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips or bits of dried fruit
  1. Whisk together flour and baking soda in a small bowl. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, beat bananas, butter and sugar on medium speed until thoroughly combined. Add flour mixture half at a time, beating to incorporate. Fold in sunflower seeds and chocolate chips or fruit.
  3. Refrigerate cookie dough for 45 minutes to 1 hour. (Cold dough helps keep the cookies from spreading too much.)
  4. Preheat oven to 350. Line baking sheets with Silpats (silicone baking mats) or parchment paper.
  5. Scoop about 1 teaspoonful of cookie dough for each cookie and place 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Bake 12 to 15 minutes until edges are lightly golden. Makes about 36 cookies.

Sunflower breakfast scones

From the National Sunflower Association.

  1. 2 cups all flour
  2. 1/2 cup quick or old-fashioned oats, uncooked
  3. 3 tablespoons sugar
  4. 1 tablespoon baking powder
  5. 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  6. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  7. Grated rind of 1 orange or lemon (optional)
  8. 5 tablespoons cold, sunflower margarine (or butter)
  9. 1/3 cup toasted sunflower kernels
  10. 1 can (11oz.) mandarin oranges, well drained
  11. 1/2 cup milk
  12. 1 egg white (optional)
  13. Sugar for sprinkling (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 425. In medium bowl, whisk together flour, oats, sugar, baking powder, nutmeg, salt and orange or lemon rind.
  2. Cut the margarine or butter into the flour mixture until crumbly; stir in sunflower kernels. Add reserved mandarin oranges and the milk. Working quickly, stir mixture into a dough ball. (Dough will look dry but will moisten when kneaded.)
  3. Turn out onto lightly-floured surface; knead quickly and gently 10 turns. Divide dough in half. Pat out each piece into a 6-inch circle and place on an ungreased baking sheet.
  4. With knife, cut through to the baking sheet, evenly dividing each circle into 6 wedges that are slightly separated.
  5. Beat egg white with a little cold water. Brush each circle with the egg white wash and sprinkle some sugar over the tops, if desired.
  6. Bake 18 to 20 minutes in preheated oven or until golden brown on top and bottom. They will be more tender if not overbaked. Makes 12 scones.

Granola with sunflower seeds

I like to add chopped dates and golden raisins to this recipe.

  • 5 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup blanched slivered almonds
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup sesame seeds
  • 1 cup wheat germ
  • 2 cups shredded coconut
  • 1 cup unsalted sunflower seeds
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 1 1/2 cups honey
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  1. Preheat oven to 325. In a large bowl, stir together oats, almonds, walnuts, pecans, sesame seeds, wheat germ, coconut and sunflower seeds.
  2. In a small pan over medium heat, stir together oil and honey; cook and stir until blended. You could also do this in a large measuring cup in the microwave, heating for about 2 minutes and 30 seconds. Pour over the oat mixture, and stir to coat evenly. Spread out in an even layer on two cookie sheets.
  3. Bake for 20 minutes in preheated oven, until the oats and nuts are toasted. Immediately after it comes out of the oven, stir in the raisins and dried cranberries. Let stand until cooled, and stir again to break up any large clusters. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two weeks. Makes 20 servings.

Bread machine sunflower and flax bread

  • 1 1/3 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 1 1/3 cups whole wheat bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup flax seeds
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  1. Place all ingredients (except sunflower seeds) in the pan of the bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Select basic white cycle; press start.
  2. Add the sunflower seeds when the alert sounds during the knead cycle. Makes 1 loaf.

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