EN on Foods

September 2011 Issue

Warm Up to Nutty Sunflower Seeds

Spiraled artistically inside the large flowering head of the sunflower (Helianthus annus), the many small, tubular flowers become sunflower seeds. Each plant can grow up to twelve feet with a flower diameter of one foot, and produces an average of 800 to 2,000 seeds. Thin shells of black, gray, or gray and white stripes encase gray-green or black seeds. All are edible, though black seeds are generally pressed into sunflower oil, which is rich in linoleic acid.

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