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Preserving Sunflower and Pumpkin Seeds and Popcorn

Date: March 1989 (Revised April 1995)

Source: NDSU Extension Nutrition Specialists

Both sunflower and pumpkin seeds can be roasted and make a fun snack. Separate the fiber from the pumpkin seed and place the seeds in a colander and rinse thoroughly with water.

Place the seeds, either sunflower or pumpkin, in a saucepan and cover with salted water using 1/4 cup salt to 2 quarts water. Bring the seeds to a boil and simmer about 2 hours. Drain the seeds and dry them on absorbent paper.

To roast, place seeds in a shallow pan in a 300 degree oven for 30 to 40 minutes or until golden brown. Stir occasionally.

Remove the seeds from the oven and add one teaspoon of melted butter or margarine to each cup of seeds. Salt to taste. When cool, store in an airtight container. If they will be stored longer than 10 to 14 days, place in the freezer.

Salt may be omitted in the cooking water and other seasonings can be used. Simply sprinkle the cooked, drained seeds with onion or garlic salt before roasting.

Hulled seeds may be mixed with vegetable oil (two teaspoons oil to each cup of seeds) and seasonings and then roasted. Place in a 300 degree oven for five to ten minutes.

Store popcorn in airtight containers in the refrigerator, or better yet, in the freezer. At 40 degrees Fahrenheit (refrigerator temperature), the popping volume begins to decrease after about 30 months of storage.

If you have further questions, please contact your county office of the NDSU Extension Service.

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