Sunflower seeds are more than an addictive snack, these tiny seeds add color, crunch, and an addictive sweet and nutty flavor when used in the kitchen.
What Do Sunflower Seeds Taste Like?
Sunflower seeds have a mildly nutty flavor with a hint of sweetness. When roasted, their nutty flavor deepens and they develop a delicate but complex caramel-like sweetness. The inner kernel of the seed is very small, with a smooth, tender texture much like a cashew nut.
While some people eat the sunflower seed shells, it typically isn’t advised as the shell has little flavor and a tough, woody texture that can cause damage to the intestines.
How to Eat Sunflower Seeds?
You can eat sunflower seeds raw or roasted.
To open a sunflower seed, bite down on the black and white outer shell with your back molars until it cracks. Then, take out the small white seed inside and discard the outer shell halves.
If you’re planning to cook with them or incorporate them in a dish, you can also find seed openers online or purchase the sunflower seeds already shelled.
Cooking with Sunflower Seeds
Shelled sunflower seeds are a great addition to sweet and savory recipes, both as a cooking ingredient or a finishing touch. The tiny seeds bring a lovely subtle crunch and a hint of nutty richness without overwhelming the dish as larger nuts sometimes can.
Add shelled sunflower seeds to hearty baked goods such as bread, muffins, and cakes in place of or in combination with other nuts and seeds. They would be a welcome add-on to our breakfast snack cake or on top of this blueberry muffin cake as it bakes. The roasted sunflower seeds bring pops of complex sweetness and nuttiness to every bite.
A sprinkling of sunflower seeds over a salad or soup brings some textural contrast and visual appeal. A flourish of salty sunflower seeds is the perfect finishing touch to our roast delicata squash salad, especially when paired with tangy feta crumbles. You can also incorporate them into seed-crusted dishes, like our sesame-crusted salmon.