DIY Sunflower Seeds

Blah blah blah…we were strolling through the farmer’s market like our usual wannabe locavore selves and there it was – a big ol’ sunflower head. The person I gave $2.00 to told me to soak the seeds overnight in salty water and roast them.

I completely thought I was going to get stuck with the job of removing the seeds, but my kids went nuts and removed almost all of them themselves. Those little fingers do come in handy.

Once they were all removed we soaked them overnight in a couple cups of water with around 2 tablespoons of dissolved salt.

Then I roasted them on a baking sheet at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes until they started to brown just a bit.

The resulting seeds are a bit tough to crack. I find it easiest to rest the base of a shell on one of my lower molars and gently press down on the tip with an upper molar. It is a bit of a pain. But the perfectly salty little seed is worth the trouble. My 6 year-old loves these. I have to break them open for the younger one. 

The yield was about 1 1/2 cups. Store at room temperature in an airtight container.

Pepitas and dried cranberries

This snack idea is from Gastrokids. I’m just starting to warm up to snack mixes for kids as my youngest recently turned three and is supposedly clear to eat popcorn, whole nuts and the like.  More importantly, she is extremely likely to pick all the sweet bits out and leave the rest. But, in this case, at least it’s cranberries and not chocolates. Pepitas are a new favorite thing of mine too.

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1/2 cup pepitas
1/4 cup dried sweetened cranberries

Mix and serve.

Yield: 3/4 cup
Prep time: 2 minutes