This honey roasted sunflower seeds recipe is very easy to prepare and makes a perfect snack. Great on it’s own or used as a topping for a yoghurt or breakfast oatmeal.
Why make this recipe?
- Delicious as snack on it’s own
- Great to add to granola, yoghurt or breakfast oatmeal or porridge
- Healthier alternative to sweets
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What equipment is needed?
There are only few things you will need for this food project, your oven, suitable baking sheet and baking parchment paper or non-stick baking sheet.
Ingredients & Possible Substitutions
Make sure that your sunflower seeds are shelled first before starting to roast them. I usually buy my sunflower seeds already shelled as I buy them in the supermarket or a specialist shops.
On a few occasions when I was given freshly picked sunflower seeds from my friends garden, I had to shell them first. You shell your sunflower seeds, by lightly crushing the outer layer (sideways) and taking out the seed.
I usually use basic honey for this recipe. Sometimes, I buy forest honey, which is slightly darker and deeper in flavour that’s amazing with sunflower seeds too.
You certainly don’t want to use manuka honey or honey with propolis as the heat might damage the health properties of the honey.
I have also used agave syrup for this recipe and the sunflower seeds tasted great too. You can also use any other type of honey substitutions, such as maple syrup, date syrup, carob syrup etc.
Please bear in mind, that depending on what type of honey (or honey alternative) you use, the overall flavour will depend on it.
For example carob syrup is very strong in flavour, which meant that your sunflower seeds will taste like chocolate! Similarly with coconut syrup – you won’t be able to loose that coconut flavour from the sunflower seeds.
You can experiment with different types of honey or syrups to make different flavours every time you make this recipe.
You need to choose flavoured oil for this recipe, because you don’t want to add add more unwanted flavour to your sunflower seeds. Vegetable or sunflower oil is perfect for this recipe.
It’s best not to use strongly flavoured types of oil – such as nut oils, truffle oil or spice flavoured oils, as these are going to overpower the subtle flavour of sunflower seeds and the honey.
Virgin olive oil is also not suitable, as it has quite a strong flavour and most importantly it burns and smokes when it’s heated to a higher temperature. This would spoil your sunflower seeds and make them taste really bad.
Adding a tiny pinch of fine salt is a great way to balance the sweetness of the honey and the flavour of sunflower seeds.
If you are trying to limit the amount of salt in your food, you are welcome to omit the salt or add less if you wish.
Adding cinnamon (or other sweet mix spices) to the honey makes the sunflower seeds mix even more delicious and tasty. You are welcome to add any type of spice mix, that you like. I usually switch them around depending on the season.
How to make honey roasted sunflower seeds recipe
Make sure that your honey is warm first (if not keep it somewhere warm for a bit – like on a top of a warm stove)
Mix together the honey, oil and salt and cinnamon or other flavouring if using.
Add your sunflower seeds and make sure that all are evently coated. If needed add a tiny more honey to make sure everything is mixed in well. Sunflower seeds should be coated, but not dripping with honey too much.
Line a baking tray with a non-stick baking parchment (or use a non-stick baking sheet).
Spread the coated sunflower seeds on the baking tray and place in preheated oven on 180C or 350 F
Roast your sunflower seeds for about 15 minutes, but do check them every 5 minutes to make sure they are not browning too quickly. Take them out of the oven and mix them and turn them over to make sure they are roasting evenly.
Once you are happy with the colour (darken golden brown), take them out and leave them to cool down.
If they stick together, just break them up before storing them in an airtight container.
I’ve made this recipe with just one cup (or about 100 grams – one bag), because I tend to use it as toppings for my breakfast porridge and I didn’t want to make too big batch.
If you wanted to make more just double or triple the recipe and divide the amount between several jam jars (to make sure that the sunflower seeds don’t end up being too compacted in one large jar).
Energy saving tip
You only need about 15 minutes in the oven for this recipe on about 180 C or 350 F. This is the same setting as most cakes, cookies or tray bakes.
It makes sense to do this recipe after you’ve just baked a cake or made your dinner and just adjust the oven temperature to 180 C (350 F) to save energy.
How else you can make this recipe?
You can add different warming spices depending on the seasons.
Sunflower seeds are not nuts, so they should be fine for anyone with nut allergies or food sensitivities.
Honey is not great for people with IBS, but you can easily swap the honey for agave syrup, which makes the sunflower seeds mix easier to digest.
Ideas on how to use your honey roasted sunflower seeds
- Just eat them as they are great for a perfect snack
- Use as toppings for yoghurt, oatmeal, porridge or anything else you want a bit of crunch too
- Mix them with your homemade granola
RECIPES IDEAS TO ADD YOUR SUNFLOWER SEEDS TO
My top tips
Keep your eye on the clock when you are roasting your sunflower seeds. It’s way too easy to forget them until it’s too late and they are over caramelised or even worse – burned!
How to store honey roasted sunflower seeds
Make sure that you keep your sunflower seeds in an airtight container (jam jar or plastic container). It’s not because the sunflower seeds will go off easily, but because if you expose them to air they will pick up humidity from air and the honey will start to soften. You might end up with a sticky mess, if you do that.
How long do honey roasted sunflower seeds last?
It’s best to eat the roasted sunflower seeds within 1-3 months, but they typically last even longer (anything up to 6 months).
Since the sunflower seeds are preserved with the honey coating, they have a good shelflife, but they can still go off (especially in the summer).
The way to tell if your sunflower seeds have gone off is to smell them first. If there is a rancid kind of smell that overpowers the honey, then they have gone off.
If you are not sure, eat one of the sunflower seeds (wash it first to dissolve the honey). If it taste bitter and rancid, then the whole batch has gone.
You will not get sick eating these, but they won’t taste nice. The sweet honey taste does overpower the rancidness sometimes, but they will still taste bitter no matter what you do with them.
Honey Roasted Sunflower Seeds
- 100 grams sunflower seeds (shelled) heaped 1 cup
- 1 1/2 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil or other flavoures oil
- 1/8 teaspoon salt large pinch, more or less depending on your taste
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon optional (or any other sweet spice mix)
- Make sure that your honey is warm first (if not keep it somewhere warm for a bit – like on a top of a warm stove)
- Mix together the honey, oil and salt and cinnamon or other flavouring if using.
- Add your sunflower seeds and make sure that all are evently coated. If needed add a tiny more honey to make sure everything is mixed in well. Sunflower seeds should be coated, but not dripping with honey too much.
- Line a baking tray with a non-stick baking parchment (or use a non-stick baking sheet).
- Spread the coated sunflower seeds on the baking tray and place in preheated oven on 180C or 350 F
- Roast your sunflower seeds for about 15 minutes, but do check them every 5 minutes to make sure they are not browning too quickly. Take them out of the oven and mix them and turn them over to make sure they are roasting evenly.
- Once you are happy with the colour (darken golden brown), take them out and leave them to cool down.
- If they stick together, just break them up before storing them in an airtight container.
- Eat within 1-3 months and use as a ready snack, toppings for breakfast oatmeal, yoghurt or mix with your granolla.
This blog post was originally written on 11 June 2021 and last updated 25 September 2022