If you have sunflowers growing in your garden, leave a few flowers for hungry birds and harvest the rest. Dried sunflower seeds make healthy snacks, high in potassium, protein, calcium, fiber, phosphorus and beneficial fats. Sunflower seeds can also be used in place of nuts in favorite recipes.
Harvest sunflower seeds when the seeds begin to turn light brown and the back of the flower turns yellow. If the birds are harvesting the sunflowers before the seeds are ready, put a paper sack over the sunflower or wrap the sunflower in netting or cheesecloth. Don't wrap the bloom in plastic unless the plastic has been perforated to allow air circulation.
Cut the sunflowers, leaving about a foot of stem intact. Hang the sunflowers in a dry, well-ventilated spot, and leave them until the seeds easily come loose from the flower. If you haven't already wrapped the blooms in cheesecloth or a paper bag, wrap it now so the seeds won't fall onto the floor as they dry.
Store the dry sunflower seeds in an airtight container. To prevent the sunflower seeds from molding during storage, be sure the seeds are completely dry first.