They grew to be enormous! I am about 5'8" or so, and this is as high as I could reach on this one...and I was stretching.
So now...on to the roasting... I had never done this before, so I did a little internet research. I read that there are two ways you can do this. You can let the sunflower heads dry out on the plant, or you can cut them off and air dry them. I thought I would try a few of each and see which worked best.
I wanted mine salted, so I made a brine. It took about 2 1/2 quarts/litres (well, 2 1/2 peanut butter jars, cuz that is what was sitting right beside me) to cover the seeds in the bowl. I added just under 3/4 cups of salt and stirred the whole thing around. I ended up putting an inverted plate on the seeds to keep them submerged, but I don't think that would actually be necessary. I let them soak for 24 hours (it was just supposed to be 12, but honestly...I forgot all about them in the excitement of my first pottery class of the season - ps: they were just fine after 24).
Drain them and spread them out on a cookie sheet. I left them there to dry for about 7 hours (you can pat them dry with a towel instead, but I had to go to work, so air dry it was!).
Roast them in the oven at 350 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. Check them every couple of minutes after the 30 minute mark. You can just split one in half and taste it to check if it is how you like it. I went to 40 and they kind of taste like roasted pumpkin seeds...it's all about what you are looking for, right?
Let them cool and store them in an airtight container. They should be shelf stable for a good long while.
I found that this is pretty forgiving. You can kind of do it at your own pace. If you forget about them, or just get too busy, they will be OK. It would be a great project to do with kids...we just had bad timing...their friends came back from holidays the day I started, so they got distracted and disappeared on me. They sure liked the results though. All in all, I am pretty sure I will be doing this again next year. N wants to try with flavours...like dill pickle, so I might try some herbs or spices in the brine, or sprinkled on top when they are in the oven.
If you experiment, let me know how it works out for you.
I'll be linking up with Carnival of Home Preserving at Laura William's Musings on Friday
barn hop on homestead revival on Monday.