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What Is the Shelf Life of Sunflower Seeds?

Sunflower seeds are a high-protein and high-fiber snack, although they also contain some polyunsaturated fat. Consumers can take a few strategies to keep sunflower seeds fresh and tasting their best.

Packaged Seeds

When sold in commercially packaged bags sunflower seeds typically have a "best by" date stamped on the package. This date can be as far away as one year in seeds packaged with lower than average oxygen content in the air inside the bag. Eat the sunflower seeds before the date if they are stored at room temperature.

Time Frame

Sunflower seeds generally have a room temperature shelf life of two to three months after the package is opened. Seeds stored in the refrigerator or freezer have an extended shelf life of up to 12 months. The shelf life is the same for sunflower seeds in the shell and seeds out of the shell.

Storage Tips

For best taste and quality, store sunflower seeds in an airtight container or heavy-duty freezer bag in the refrigerator or freezer to prevent them from exposure to moisture. Seeds may also be stored in a covered container in a cool, dry place.

Lemon Queen Sunflower Seeds

You can buy packets of "Lemon Queen" sunflower seeds from nurseries, garden stores, garden catalogs and online. These sunflowers work well for courtyard gardens, cottage-style gardens, flower borders and flower beds. You can start the seeds in a propagator indoors in temperatures of 68 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit in late winter, or sow them outdoors in spring after the danger of frost has passed. Remove seeds from the heads by rubbing two heads together or rub your palm over the seeds. If you harvest the seeds over a container topped with a 1/2-inch screen, it will help separate the chaff from the seeds.

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