The Natural History of Sunflowers and A Sunflower Seed Cookie Recipe
Sunflower (Photo: Karen McDonald)
Enjoy The Delights of Sunflowers
Today's guest post is from Anne Littlewolf, our very own helpful author (when I give her enough lead time), with a touch of tag teaming from yours truly!
With wealth untold in my pocket, I'd gotten permission from Mom to go play with the rest of the kids. We had bikes, we had energy, we had imagination, and with the vast sum of 25 whole cents in my pocket, the world was mine! Dashing across the street to the little Mom & Pop grocery store, I roamed up and down the aisles, trying to choose between a Chunky candy bar, a candy necklace or at least a handful of Pixie Stix, but when it all came down to a final choice, a ten-cent bag of sunflower seeds (roasted and salted in the shell!) won out. I'd learned the fine art of cracking them, extracting the seed and spitting out the shell in one swift move, never once losing a single pedal stroke on my bike. Oh, the things that give you status when you're ten!!
Sunflower seed and kernel (Photo: Wiki Commons).
It was, as we later learned, a wonderful snack choice. Sunflowers are amazing plants, they're the type of flower that always makes you smile whether they're in the yard, on an apron, on wallpaper or even on a notepad, and they produce some of the best munchies ever. The little seeds that come in the familiar black and white striped shell offer all sorts of benefits, beyond just yummy-ness! Sunflower seeds are used in most countries as a source of cooking oil, while in America we tend to shove them into the snack food category or probably at least as commonly, bird food. I would suggest considering them for human food, and as a great addition for native pollinators and butterflies. The asters that don't make large heads are also an important part of ecosystems, and food for insects, and other native creatures. Let's learn more.