Nothing says summer quite like sunflowers. These bright, cheery annuals add color to sun-filled corners and provide unique dining experiences for adventurous gardeners. Although their seeds are a common snack, gardeners may not know that sunflowers (Helianthus annuus) are safe to eat from root to blossom petal. Before consuming, however, consumers should confirm that the sunflower was grown organically and hasn’t been exposed to pesticides or other substances.
Leaves for Lunch
Sunflower leaves, brewed alone or together with the plant’s origins and blossom petals, make an earthy tea. You can also eat raw sunflower leaves as salad greens or boil them, if you would rather, in the same manner as spinach. To get a crunchy snack, then bake the sunflower leaves like kale chips.
To get a burst of colour and bittersweet kick, add sunflower petals to salad. Sunflower stalks taste similar to celery and, like celery, are sometimes eaten with peanut butter or humus. The flexible roots can be roasted, fried, steamed or eaten raw. Some people shred sunflower roots to earn a slaw. The bananas add taste to salads and, of course, sunflower seeds make a tasty snack when roasted.