How to Eat Sunflower Seeds


The sunflower seed is a tasty, healthy and portable treat. Whether eaten plain, roasted, salted or seasoned with spices, a sunflower seed is a small seed that packs big flavor. While you can purchase sunflower seeds already shelled, buying the shelled seeds is often cheaper and some people enjoy the challenge of shelling the seeds in their mouths. To eat sunflower seeds, you'll want to start with one seed at a time until you get the hang of it.

Step 1

Place a single seed in your mouth and work the seed with your tongue to position it between your front teeth.

Step 2

Turn the seed between your teeth so one side is facing into your mouth and the other is facing outward. The seam of the shell should be running along the edges of your teeth.

Step 3

Squeeze the shell by closing your teeth firmly but slowly to get the seam to pop open. You aren't trying to crush the shell into pieces, just to crack open the seam.

Step 4

Work the opened shell in your mouth to separate the seed from the two shell halves. Spit the shell portion of the sunflower out and then eat the seed.

Tips and Warnings

  • The shells of the sunflower seed can be sharp, so be sure you don't have any loose shell in your mouth before you swallow; otherwise you may scratch your esophagus.


  • "You Are What You Eat"; Gillian McKeith; 2006

Who Can Help

  • National Sunflower Association: Recipes
Keywords: sunflower seeds, eating sunflower seeds, shelling sunflower seeds

About this Author

Margaret Telsch-Williams is a freelance, fiction, and poetry writer from the Blue Ridge mountains. When not writing articles for Demand Studios, she works for as a contributor and podcast co-host.