Find Sunflower Seeds
Sunflowers are so uplifting! Ask any child to draw a flower and it will likely be a sunflower. They are native to North and South America and played an important role in Native Americans' life.
The whole plant was put to different uses: the crushed stems and roots were used to treat wounds, parts of the plant were made into skin and textile dyes, and the seeds of course, were a basic part of their diet.
With the arrival of the first European settlers sunflowers almost sank to oblivion, wheat, rye and corn were given preference. But apparently some Spanish explorers took some seeds back to Europe. Here they were again largely ignored until the 17th century, when Peter the Great from Russia paid a visit to Holland. He was so impressed with sunflowers that he took seeds back to Russia where they became an instant success. And not only as a food and oil source. With the bleakness of winters in those parts of the world it's easy to understand how people became endeared to sunflowers.
It was not until the 1870's that the Mennonites in Canada re-introduced sunflowers to North America. But these sunflowers were different to the ones which left with those Spanish explorers. Researchers are now on the lookout for those original sunflowers, which in some cases may be in danger of extinction.
Sunflower seeds are available shelled, unshelled, toasted or raw. Not only are they nutritious but you can (literally)- eat them to your heart's content.