Sunflower Seeds

67

TOTAL VARIETIES

Earthy and fruity with a
mild, toasted flavor

TASTING NOTES

Helianthus annuus L.
Compositae family

FAMILY

1000-2000

SEEDS PER FLOWER

Health Benefits

Sunflower seeds are one of the richest sources of Vitamin E - an antioxidant that helps keep the linings of cells free of damage.

Phytosterols help reduce cholesterol, and sunflower seeds happen to contain one of the highest levels of any seed.

Our body has a natural detox system that requires selenium to function properly - snack on sunflower seeds for a quick boost.

The workhorse vitamin B-6 helps create red blood cells and supports hormone stability, immune system function, and skin health.

High in healthy, unsaturated fats, sunflower seeds are a tasty way to help lower inflammation and promote heart health.

WHERE IS IT GROWN?

Ukraine is the world’s largest producer of sunflower seeds, followed closely by Russia. The US is the world’s 10th largest producer of sunflower seeds, with most being grown in South Dakota and North Dakota. The seeds are grown in colder climates for two reasons: sunflowers can be grown within a short growing season from June to September and the cold winters in the Dakotas keep pests and disease at bay.

Sunflowers, true to their name, follow the sun from east to west to absorb all the rays they can. This is known as heliotropism.

HOW MUCH WATER IS USED TO GROW?

On average, 46 gallons of water are used worldwide to grow one pound of sunflower seeds. That’s 24x less than pistachios, the world’s most water-intensive nut. Sunflower seeds also use 4x less water than cashews and 8x less than hazelnuts.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GROW?

Sunflowers usually bloom within 70 days after planting, but the seeds need another month after the blooms fade before they can be harvested. That’s just a little over three months to go from seeds in the ground to seeds in our pantry.

The tallest recorded sunflower was grown in Germany and measured 30 feet and 1 inch tall, about as tall as a three-story building.

HOW MANY POUNDS ARE GROWN GLOBALLY?

In 2017, 105.5 billion pounds of sunflower seeds were produced across 72 different countries. Almost half of all the sunflower seeds in the world come from just two countries - Ukraine and Russia.

Kansas is the “Sunflower State” and sunflower is the national flower of Ukraine.

WHEN IS IT IN SEASON?

Sunflowers as ornamental flowers are at their peak in the middle of summer and remain available into the early fall. The seeds, however, are not available until more than a month after the flowers have bloomed, but can be stored for several months once harvested.

Sunflowers are one of the rare seed crops that are native to North America.

HOW ARE THE SEEDS HARVESTED?

Sunflower seeds are harvested after the flower has bloomed and died back. When the back of the sunflower head turns from green to yellow to brown, the seeds are ready to harvest. A single harvesting machine cuts the sunflower stems in the field and funnels the head of the sunflower through the machine to extract the seeds. Everything but the seeds are returned to the soil as mulch to prevent soil erosion and as added nutrients for next season’s crop.

Sunflowers can grow as high as 16 feet above the soil and have root systems that spread several feet below the soil.

the seeds through history

1000 BCE

The earliest evidence of Native American tribes cultivating domesticated sunflowers

1580

Spanish explorers bring sunflower seeds back across the pond to Europe and grow them as ornamental garden crops

1860

First selection for high oil content of sunflower seeds in Russia to replace butter during Lent

AFTER 1945

The Russian oilseed variety is reintroduced to the US

1966

Oilseed sunflowers become an economically important crop in the US

2015

88 Acres launches the original Craft Seed Bars made with sunflower, pumpkin and flax seeds

2016

88 Acres launches Vanilla Spiced and Dark Chocolate Sunflower Seed Butters

2018

88 Acres launches Maple Sunflower Seed Butter