Sunflower Seed Shelf Life: How Long Do Sunflower Seeds Last?

Roasted4-6 Months12 Months-
Raw2-3 Months12 Months-

Storage Life of Sunflower Seeds:

High in protein and other nutrients, sunflower seeds are from sunflowers. They may be difficult to get but are usually available in large supermarkets and can be used in different dishes. Proper storage is necessary, and for that, you must have an idea of their storage life.

Raw sunflower seeds, if stored in the pantry, last for about 2-3 months after their best by date printed on the can and up to 1 year in refrigerator or freezer. For the roasted sunflower seeds, they can last up to 3-4 months past their best before the date and 1 year in refrigerator or freezer. Try to consume them before their best by date for the richest flavor.

Purchasing Sunflower Seeds:

Proper precautions must be taken while buying sunflower seeds as they have oil content in them so are sensitive to oxygen exposure. Usually, the packed sunflower seeds have a date on them so, you can rely on that. But, if buying unpacked, they must be smelled first. Old or spoiled sunflower seeds will have a rancid odor because of the oil content naturally present in them.

Similarly, oils made of sunflower seeds should have their odor and color checked before buying. A good fresh oil will retain its natural color. While buying seeds, take care that the pack is completely sealed and unopened because the seeds may have a greater chance of getting rotten.


Storing Sunflower Seeds:

Sunflower seeds, like sesame seeds, must be stored in an airtight bag, jar or container to keep it away from air or oxygen as they have natural oil content and are more prone to getting spoilage. This way, mold will not develop. In cool weather, they can be kept at room temperature and away from direct sunlight.

However, if the temperature is high, they must be shifted to some airtight container or if opened then stored in the freezer to have their longer life. Usually, freezing of seeds is not recommended as they can become damp and lose their taste. It is recommended to buy them in small quantities and use them when they are fresh.


How to Handle Sunflower Seeds:

Sunflower seeds or any type of nuts or seeds can contain dust and impurities even if grown in your own lawn or backyard. So, these must be cleaned before using them for any purpose. Usually, sunflower seeds are washed under running water until all the impurities are removed and then dried by spreading them out on a tray.

If you have packed sunflower seeds, then usually their cleaning is not required as they are already processed and cleaned. Roasted sunflower seeds can be obtained by drying them in a preheated pan while stirring until they are golden brown. They then can be stored for a few months or even up to a year. To remove the seeds from their shell, usually grinding them is the best option, then place in water and let the shell pieces float to the top to be separated from the seeds.


Cooking Sunflower Seeds:

Sunflower seeds are rich in vitamin E, B6, B3, copper, magnesium, phosphorus.  Their oil is widely used for cooking purposes and dressings. Seeds can be added in many dishes to enhance their taste and nutrient content.

They can be added in meatballs, burgers, vegetables such as kale and spinach. They are widely used in restaurants along with meat and sea foods like prawns, fish, etc. Adding them to your daily smoothies can also make your smoothies much rich in nutrients. As an appetizer, sunflower cheese balls is also a delicious recipe. They can be added to your pasta recipes or can be placed in your daily breakfast along with cereals to have a kick start to your day.