Drying and Roasting Seeds (SP 50-534)

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Sunflower seeds


Cut the sunflower heads with a stem about one foot long. Hang upside down in a dry location with good air circulation. Tie a cloth bag around each head to catch any seeds that might drop during drying.


When seeds are dry, mix thoroughly 2 cups of unwashed dry seeds, ½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce, 1½ tablespoons melted butter, and 1 teaspoon salt. Place in a shallow baking pan and roast (one hour at 250°F; 30 minutes at 275°F oven; or 10–15 minutes at 300°F). Be sure to stir the seeds frequently as they roast.


If a salty sunflower seed is desired, soak the seeds in a salt solution (2 teaspoons or more salt per quart of water) for 24 hours before drying.

Pumpkin and squash seeds

Wash the seeds carefully to remove the clinging fiber. Dry the seeds in a dehydrator at 115°–120°F until crisp or in the oven at 150°F for 1–2 hours, stirring frequently.

For roasted seeds or salty flavored seeds follow instructions given for roasting sunflower seeds above.


Place seeds in a plastic bag and store. If to be kept a long time, put in the refrigerator or freezer. The seeds will become rancid if stored at room temperature for long periods of time.

Source: OSU Master Food Preserver Program

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