Snack

Caramel Walnuts

Walnut candy, made with walnut halves coated with a homemade caramel candy sauce.

Ready in:

  • Cook time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: Makes 2 cups candied walnuts.

These homemade, candied caramel walnuts are a little sticky, and a little chewy, but oh so good.

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tbsp milk
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 cups of walnut halves
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tbsp milk
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 cups of walnut halves
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Method

1 In a small, thick-bottomed saucepan, mix together and heat the sour cream, salt, milk, and sugar. Heat until the temperature reads 240°F on a candy thermometer, stirring occasionally.

2 Add the walnuts and a teaspoon of vanilla. Stir until the walnuts are creamy. Remove pan from heat and spread the walnuts out on wax paper or Silpat. Separate using 2 forks if necessary. Let cool to harden.

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How to Make Fruit Leather

Step-by-step guide for making fruit leather, puréed fruit, spread out and dried, then rolled up to store. A great way to use up excess fruit of the season.

Ready in:

  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Cook time: 9 hours
  • Yield: 4 cups of fruit yield about one baking sheet of fruit leather.

When you have your own fruit trees (or access to someone else’s) sometimes you can feel a bit buried in fruit, whatever happens to be dropping off the trees at that time. Summer becomes a mad dash of canning, jamming and freezing, trying to preserve the bounty to enjoy throughout the year.

One thing you can do with excess fruit of the season is to make fruit leather, sort of the beef jerky of fruit. I used to love this stuff as a kid, made for a great snack and instant energy, and was easy to pack.

What follows is a general guideline to making fruit leather, no set recipe. So much of it depends on the specific fruit you are working with.

Do you have a preferred way of making fruit leather? I’m curious to know.

I imagine that not all fruit are best processed the same way, and some might work well mixed in with other things, like cherries with ground almonds for example.

I know that some people prefer to process just the raw fruit; I like cooking the fruit first to up the intensity of the flavor, and kill any bacteria that might be lurking around on the fruit.

When apple butter season starts, I may make a fruit leather batch with extra ground cloves, cinnamon and cider vinegar.

The leftover fruit mush from making a clear jelly would be great for making fruit leather (thinking of the quince jelly now).

If you have a favorite approach to fruit leather with a favorite fruit, please let us know in the comments.

Ingredients

  • Fresh fruit (apricots, peaches, plums, berries, apples, pears, grapes)
  • Water
  • Lemon juice
  • Sugar (if needed)
  • Spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg (optional)

Ingredients

  • Fresh fruit (apricots, peaches, plums, berries, apples, pears, grapes)
  • Water
  • Lemon juice
  • Sugar (if needed)
  • Spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg (optional)

Method

1 Rinse, taste, and prep the fruit: Rinse the fruit. If you working with stone fruit, take out the pits, chop the fruit. If working with apples or pears, peel and core them, then chop. If working with grapes, de-stem them.

Taste the fruit before proceeding. Note how sweet the fruit is. If very sweet (ripe Concord grapes for example) you will not need to add any sugar. If still a little tart, you may need to add some sugar in the next step.

2 Cook fruit with water, sugar, lemon juice, spices: Place fruit in a large saucepan. Add a half cup of water for every 4 cups of chopped fruit.

Bring to a simmer, cover and let cook on a low heat for 10-15 minutes, or until the fruit is cooked through. Uncover and stir.

Use a potato masher to mash up the fruit in the pan.

Taste the fruit and determine what and how much sugar, lemon juice, or spices to add.

Add sugar in small amounts (1 Tbsp at a time if working with 4 cups of fruit), to desired level of sweetness.

Add lemon juice one teaspoon at a time to help brighten the flavor of the fruit. Add a pinch or two of cinnamon, nutmeg, or other spices to augment the flavor.

Continue to simmer and stir until any added sugar is completely dissolved and the fruit purée has thickened, another 5 or 10 minutes (or more).

Note if you are working with grapes – strain the juice out of the mashed grapes to make grape juice. Force what is left behind, after straining, through a food mill, to make the purée for the next step.

3 Purée the cooked, mashed fruit: Put the purée through a food mill or chinoise. Alternatively purée it thoroughly in a blender or food processor.

Taste again and adjust sugar/lemon/spices if necessary. The purée should be very smooth.

4 Pour purée into lined baking sheet: Line a rimmed baking sheet with sturdy plastic wrap (the kind that is microwave safe). Pour out the purée into the lined baking sheet to about an 1/8 to 1/4 inch thickness.

5 Slowly dry out in oven at a very low temp: Place the baking sheet in the oven, try to keep any plastic wrap from touch the sides of the oven or the oven racks. Also try to make sure that the plastic wrap hasn’t folded back over on top of the purée. If this happens, the purée won’t dry out.

Heat the oven to a low 140°F. If you have a convection setting, use it, it will speed up the process and help dry out the purée. Let dry in the oven like this for as long as it takes for the purée to dry out and form fruit leather.

We usually keep it in the oven overnight, so about 8-12 hours. The fruit leather is ready when it is no longer sticky, but has a smooth surface.

Alternatives to the oven. If you have a food dehydrator, this would be a great use of it. My mother suggested putting the tray in the weber grill, and leaving covered, in the sun all day. Sounds like a good trick, but I haven’t tried it yet.

My parents remember the traditional way of making fruit leather was just to tent the tray with some cheesecloth and leave it outside in the sun on a hot day.

6 Roll up in its plastic wrap to store: When the fruit leather is ready, you can easily peel it up from the plastic wrap.

To store it, roll it in its plastic wrap, put it in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator or freezer.

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Boiled Peanuts

Traditional Southern hot boiled peanuts. Raw peanuts boiled in salt water for a salty, shell-shucking-worthy snack.

Ready in:

  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Cook time: 2 hours, 30 minutes

Before there was edamame in this country, there were hot boiled peanuts, which according to my Southern friends, are a staple in much of the South.

Boiled peanuts are just raw peanuts that have been boiled in salted water for hours. Great with beer or a cold soda, these salty soft peanuts are totally addictive!

A little messy too, given that the shells absorb some of the water which can squirt out at you when you bite into them to get the nut out. People usually eat them outside where you can toss the shells and not worry about the salt water dribbles.

The season for raw peanuts is May through November; my pal Garrett picked these up for me this week at the local farmer’s market.

Now every time I post a traditional Southern recipe I get a little pit in my stomach because I’m not Southern and I’m sure I’m going to mess up how I write about the recipe. So here to help me with this one is my very Alabama BFF Steve-Anna Stephens:

I can’t even hear the words “hot boiled peanuts” without hearing ’em doled out in a thick Southern drawl. When Elise told me she was experimenting with a boiled peanut recipe, I immediately conjured up an image of a 50 gallon drum, situated over a fire pit in the dirt on the side of the road in Alabama – filled with steaming saltwater, and peanuts in the shell.

You used to could get (yes, I meant to write that) a bag of peanuts for about fifty cents. I like to crack the boiled shell between my teeth and slurp the peanuts into my mouth. There’s usually a little saltwater left in the shell, so, believe it or not slurping is the more polite option over squirting saltwater on an innocent bystander.

Now I can’t decide which is better, Elise posting a grits recipe or a recipe for hot boiled peanuts!

So there you have it, from a true lady of the South.

Most people I talked to just boil their peanuts in plain salt water. Some add seasonings, I think a traditional seasoning (if you are going to use anything in addition to salt) is shrimp boil seasoning.

I used a combination of smoked paprika and Old Bay which was quite tasty.

You can easily double or triple or quadruple the recipe ingredients.

The longer the peanuts cook, or sit in the salty water, the saltier they will become. Also the longer the peanuts cook, the softer the shells will become. Some people prefer their peanut shells soft and almost chewy, some prefer a little firm so you can pry open the shells.

If you are making boiled peanuts for the first time, work with a small batch (like the one pound recipe that follows). If they end up too salty, use less salt the next time. If you like them softer, cook them longer. The inside nuts themselves should be completely soft. If crunchy or crisp, they need to cook longer.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound of raw “green” peanuts (not the color green, but fresh raw peanuts which are called green peanuts)
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt (or 2 Tbsp table salt)
  • 4 cups water

Optional seasoning

  • 2 tablespoons Old Bay Seasoning, smoked paprika, shrimp boil mix, or even star anise

Method

1 Thoroughly rinse raw unshelled peanuts in water.

2 Put water, salt, seasoning, peanuts in a large stockpot. Bring to a low boil. Cover and reduce the heat just enough to maintain a low boil. Boil for 2 to 3 hours or longer (some boil their peanuts all day), until peanuts reach desired level of softness.

3 Drain. Eat up within a couple of days. Boiled peanuts don’t save as well as dry.

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Spicy Chicken Nuggets

Spicy Chicken Nuggets! A specialty of Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, these chicken nuggets are marinated in lime juice, rum, and soy sauce, dredged in flour and paprika and fried.

Ready in:

  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Cook time: 30 minutes
  • Marinating time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4 to 6

We first encountered these spicy chicken nuggets in a special issue of Gourmet (Sept 2007) that focused on Latin American cuisine. “Chicharrones” (cracklings) are usually made with pork, and in Mexico with pork rind.

These chicken chicharrones are a specialty of Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic; they are made with chicken pieces that have been marinated in a lime juice mixture, dredged in flour and paprika, and deep fried.

We’re not that big into deep frying here, but the chicken nuggets cook up perfectly well in half an inch of oil, you just have to turn the pieces halfway through the cooking. Very tasty with a little hot sauce and fresh lime juice squirted on them.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup dark rum
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless chicken thighs or breasts, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • Vegetable oil (canola oil, rice bran oil, peanut oil)
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika (hot or sweet)
  • Lime wedges
  • Hot sauce

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup dark rum
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless chicken thighs or breasts, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • Vegetable oil (canola oil, rice bran oil, peanut oil)
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika (hot or sweet)
  • Lime wedges
  • Hot sauce

Method

1 Make the marinade: Whisk together the lime juice, rum, soy sauce, and sugar in a bowl until sugar has dissolved.

2 Marinate the chicken: Add the chicken to the marinade and let marinate for 30 minutes at room temperature (can marinate longer chilled, but allow to come to room temp for 30 minutes before cooking).

3 Heat the oil for frying: Pour enough oil in a skillet so that it comes up the sides at least a half an inch. Heat oil on medium high until it is shimmering, and a little pinch of flour sizzles when you drop it in the pan.

4 Dredge the chicken: While the oil is heating, whisk together the flour, paprika, and salt in a bowl. Remove the chicken pieces from the marinade and pat dry with paper towels. Dredge the chicken pieces in the flour mixture and move to a plate.

5 Fry the chicken in batches (about 3), about 3 minutes on each side, until deep golden brown and the chicken is cooked through. (If the chicken is browning too quickly, reduce the heat a bit).

Remove to a plate lined with paper towels to soak up the excess oil.

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Toasted Parmesan Rinds

Have leftover Parmesan rinds? Toast them for a quick and tasty snack.

Ready in:

  • Cook time: 5 minutes

Looking for a way to use up those Parmesan rinds collecting in your cheese drawer?

Check this out!

My French sweetheart showed me this trick the other day that was so drop-dead easy, so obvious, so I-can’t-believe-I-didn’t-think-of-this, and so good, I’ve been eating my way through Parm rinds every day since.

All you do is shave them to about a 1/2-inch, no less than 1/4-inch, thickness, spear them with a fork and toast them like marshmallows over a gas flame.

Or if you have a broiler, pop them in the broiler.

Then slice them into cubes or strips and eat. Sprinkle over salads or soups like a crouton, a pure Parmesan crouton.

Ingredients

  • Parmesan rinds, 1/2-inch thick is perfect, no thinner than 1/4-inch thick

Ingredients

  • Parmesan rinds, 1/2-inch thick is perfect, no thinner than 1/4-inch thick

Method

Gas stove, stove-top method

Remove the grate from your gas stove. If you want, line the stove below the burner with aluminum foil to catch any drippings.

Using a fork, pierce a section of Parmesan rind from the softer, non-rind side first. Put the gas on to a medium flame.

Holding the cheese rind side to the flame, gently toast it until nicely browned.

When nicely browned all over, remove to a cutting board and cut into cubes or strips.

Add to soups, salads, or just eat like popcorn.

Broiler method

Line a broiler pan with aluminum foil. Place rinds rind-side down on aluminum foil. Broil the softer, non-rind side first for a few minutes until lightly browned.

Then turn the rinds over and toast the rind side. (You toast the cheesy side first because that way when you flip over the rinds, they won’t stick as much to the foil.)

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Chipotle-Lime Mixed Nuts

Mixed roasted nuts with a chipotle lime and brown sugar glaze.

Ready in:

  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Cook time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 cups

We were eating some store-bought chili-lime nuts the other day and it occurred to us that it should be easy enough to make them at home. But how to get the spices to adhere to the nuts?

Egg whites. Nature’s food glue.

What sort of nuts to use? Any nuts you like. We used almonds, pecans and cashews for this batch.

As for the spices, we used chipotle powder for its smokey spiciness. You could easily use regular chili powder, cayenne, Chinese Five Spice, or Garam Masala. Just remember you’ll want something sweet, something spicy, salt, something zesty, and a touch of acidity.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups mixed nuts (almonds, cashews, walnuts, pecans, etc.)
  • 3 teaspoons salt
  • Grated zest of 2 limes
  • 3 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons chipotle powder (can sub chili powder, cayenne, Chinese five spice, Garam Masala, etc.)
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 Tbsp lime juice

Ingredients

  • 4 cups mixed nuts (almonds, cashews, walnuts, pecans, etc.)
  • 3 teaspoons salt
  • Grated zest of 2 limes
  • 3 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons chipotle powder (can sub chili powder, cayenne, Chinese five spice, Garam Masala, etc.)
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 Tbsp lime juice

Method

1 Preheat oven to 350°F.

2 Make coating: “Muddle” the grated lime zest with the salt in a large bowl by mashing it around with the back of a wooden spoon. The salt and zest should intermingle into a paste.

Add the brown sugar and chipotle powder and mix well.

Whisk in the egg whites.

3 Toss with nuts: Add the nuts and mix to combine, until all of the nuts are well coated.

4 Bake: Place the nuts in a layer on a cookie sheet that has been lined with either parchment paper, foil, or Silpat. Bake at 350°F for 15-20 minutes, or until light golden brown.

Remove from oven, sprinkle lime juice over all the nuts and return to the oven for 2 minutes. Allow to cool before eating.

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Peanut Butter and Honey Granola Bars

Homemade granola bars with peanut butter, honey, oats, and golden raisins.

Ready in:

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: Makes 12 to 16 bars

One of my favorite things to eat as a kid was an open-faced peanut-butter and honey sandwich.

These days I don’t even need the bread. Just a large spoonful of peanut butter, a glob of honey, a little stir in a bowl, and I’m good.

Given how much I love the flavor combination, I thought I would try my hand at making some granola bars with these favorites.

A little oatmeal, a little butter, a little peanut butter, a little honey, a 350° oven, and presto, hey these are good!

I’ve been eating a couple bars for breakfast every morning and a couple for afternoon snacks. Who knew? Easy.

If you make your own granola bars and have a favorite, please tell us about it in the comments.

These granola bars are on the soft (versus crunchy) side. If you want, after cutting them you can put them back in the oven at 300°F for 10 more minutes to make them a little firmer.

Ingredients

  • 1 egg white
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter (can use chunky if you want, will result in a more crumbly bar)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 cups Old Fashioned oatmeal oats (do not use instant or steel cut)
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins

Method

1 Line a 9×13 baking pan with parchment paper, so that the parchment paper extends over the edges of the pan. Set rack in the oven to the middle position. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2 Take 1/2 cup of the oatmeal oats and pulse them in a food processor until finely ground. Place these ground oats with the remaining oatmeal, and the cinnamon in a bowl and stir until combined. (You can skip this step if you don’t have a food processor. Just proceed with the recipe with the full amount of oats.)

3 Either with a stand mixer or by hand with a whisk, beat the egg white until frothy. Beat in the honey. Beat in the peanut butter. Add the oat cinnamon mixture. Pour the melted butter over everything and stir until well combined. Stir in the raisins.

4 Spread the mixture over the bottom of the parchment paper-lined baking dish in an even layer.

5 Place in oven and bake for 25 minutes, until nicely browned on top. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Use a sharp knife to cut into 12-16 bars. Return to the oven, lower the heat to 300°F and bake for 15 more minutes. Remove from the oven to cool.

Let cool completely before eating. Cooling is important for the bars to set, otherwise, they may be a bit too crumbly.

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Fresh Pea Hummus

A tangy, vibrant dip or hummus-like spread made from peas, tahini, sour cream and mint.

Ready in:

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4-6 as an appetizer

My mother has always taken delight at the patches of mint that thrive along the edges of her house. “It keeps away the ants!” she insists.

I have no idea if this actually works, but having her advice firmly imprinted into the core of my being, I too cultivate patches of mint here and there.

Which means, that right about now, mid to late spring, we have lots of it. Good for tea, good for jelly, and awesome in an agua fresca with lime and cucumbers, mint also pairs perfectly with peas.

This is a simple dip with peas and mint, and some onion, sour cream, and tahini.

“Hummus” implies that you are using chickpeas, so we are taking liberties with the name, by using regular peas as the base legume, instead of chickpeas.

It’s fresh and spring-y with the peas and mint. Serve it with pita chips or toasted rounds of sliced baguette.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 2 cups shelled peas, fresh or frozen
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint (spearmint)
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • Salt to taste

Special Equipment

  • Food processor

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 2 cups shelled peas, fresh or frozen
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint (spearmint)
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • Salt to taste

Special Equipment

  • Food processor

Method

1 Sauté onions: Heat the olive oil in a small pot over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and sauté until soft and translucent, but not browned, about 4-5 minutes.

2 Add peas and water, boil: Add the peas and the water, cover and bring to a boil. Let this cook 5 minutes, then drain the peas and onions.

3 Purée in food processor: Put the peas and onions into the bowl of a food processor and add all the remaining ingredients. Pulse until you have a rough purée. Serve chilled.

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Tomatoes on Toast

Freshly toasted slices of rustic bread, topped with Boursin herbed cheese and slices of fresh, ripe garden tomatoes.

Ready in:

  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 2 to 4 as a snack

Every year we get a little bit better at growing tomatoes.

The first couple of seasons I tried gardening, the yield was pretty pathetic. Over the years I’ve learned that you need to have plenty of sun, deep watering but not too much watering, soil prepped with compost, and a good covering of mulch.

I’ve even taken to crumbling up egg shells and placing them at the base of the plants to help the soil with calcium, which can ward off blossom-end-rot.

This year we finally figured out that we need resistant hybrids, tomatoes that can fight against the verticillium wilt that is endemic to our soil.

So into the ground went the Celebrity variety, resistant to just about everything, and I’m happy to report that we have a bumper crop of excellent tasting tomatoes.

So much so that we are a little overloaded at the moment. What to do when you have a bounty of garden tomatoes?

Well, my dad likes making tomato juice, and I have spent the last couple of days canning tomato salsa. This snack, which I’ve made a few times over the last week, is a winner!

So simple. It’s just toast, spread with Boursin herbed cheese, topped with sliced fresh garden tomatoes, and sprinkled with coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper.

We get freshly baked La Brea bakery French and Italian loaves at the local market, which of course makes a difference. You want a toast that will hold up to the tomato and not just collapse the minute it touches something moist.

We just happen to have Boursin in the fridge, but you could easily use any spreadable cheese, like goat cheese, mixed in with a few minced herbs.

Easy! And crazy good.

If you don’t have Boursin cheese, you can use goat cheese with some chopped fresh herbs mixed in. You will find the Boursin easiest to spread if it has been sitting at room temp for 10 minutes or so.

Ingredients

  • 2 to 4 slices of French or Italian loaf bread
  • Herbed Boursin cheese, about 2 Tbsp per slice of bread
  • 1 medium to large vine-ripened tomato
  • Coarse salt (like fleur de sel or even just Kosher salt)
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Method

1 Toast the bread.

2 While the bread is toasting, slice the tomato into 1/4-inch slices.

3 Once the bread is lightly toasted, spread one side with Boursin cheese. Top with a couple slices of tomato, overlapping if necessary. Sprinkle with coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Eat immediately.

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How to Harvest and Roast (in shell) Sunflower Seeds

Growing sunflowers? How to harvest and roast the sunflower seeds from your sunflowers.

Ready in:

  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Cook time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: Makes one cup of roasted sunflower seeds.

Looking out my living room window one afternoon I saw the strangest sight, a squirrel, about 8 feet off the ground, upside down, with his tail sticking straight up in the air.

Quietly walking closer to investigate, I found that the squirrel had climbed up one of my tall sunflower plants, the top of which was bending over due to the weight of the squirrel, who, clutching the plant stalk with his hind legs, now greedily was digging into the sunflower flower to eat the ripening seeds.

Oh, where is the camera when you need it? By the time I had retrieved mine, the squirrel was already heading down the plant.

But that did get me thinking, why leave all the sunflower seeds to the squirrels? The sunflower variety the squirrel was enjoying produces small seeds, too small for me to bother with.

But I had other sunflowers, the mammoth variety, which produces big seeds, the kind that can easily be roasted.

By the time I got around to it, the squirrels and birds had already eaten all the seeds from every flower except one. The seeds were clearly visible, I pulled one out to check to make sure the size was big enough, cracked it open and ate the raw seed inside. Perfect!

I then placed the flower head on a table (outside, it’s rather messy) and rubbed out as many of the big seeds as I could. This would be a fun activity to do with kids if you grow big sunflowers in your garden.

I then boiled the seeds in salted water, drained them, laid them out in a roasting pan, and roasted them.

The question that you may have, and I certainly did, is, is there any way to easily shell the seeds, so you don’t have to go through the painstaking process yourself for each nibble?

There is, but it requires expensive commercial machinery. Oh well. The good news is that in-shell, these seeds are hard to overeat! You have to work for it.

If you grow your own sunflowers, the flowers will tell you when they are ready. They’ll be droopy, and the petals around the center will be dried. The seeds should be clearly visible.

The best seeds for eating come from the larger varieties of sunflowers.

Just cut away the flower head from the stalk, place the flower head on a flat surface, and rub the center to dislodge the seeds from the flower. If squirrels and birds can get to these seeds, so can you!

These directions are for salted, roasted sunflower seeds. If you don’t want them salted, just rinse them off and roast them. Because they aren’t soaked through with water, they’ll roast much more quickly, perhaps only a few minutes at 400°F.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup raw in-shell sunflower seeds
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp kosher salt, or 2 Tbsp table salt*
  • 1 quart water

* Add more or less salt to taste, up to 1/4 cup Kosher salt for 1 quart of water.

Method

1 Boil sunflower seeds in salted water: Place sunflower seeds, salt, and water into a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.

2 Spread seeds on a sheet pan on roast: Drain the water from the seeds and spread the seeds out in a single layer in a sheet pan. Place in a 400°F oven on the top rack and roast for 10 to 15 minutes.

Starting at about 10 minutes, I recommend taking a few out of the oven to test. If they are not roasted yet to your satisfaction, return them to the oven for another 2 to 5 minutes.

Keep checking every few minutes until they are dry enough and roasted to your satisfaction.

The seeds can quickly go from done (dry and easy to bite to open) to charred (browned on outside and black on the inside). So as the time gets closer, keep an eye on it.

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