Once you start eating sunflower shoots, you will not go back to plain lettuce day and day out. Sunflower shoots have crunch, nuttiness, and a scrumptious mouthfeel. Nutrient packed, with fiber and protein, they are the perfect snack food. Read on to learn all about Sunflower Shoots, a type of microgreen!

What Are Sunflower Shoots?

Sunflower Shoots are young sunflower plants. Seeds are sown densely and grown for about two weeks, until the first two seed leaves have emerged, the stem is at least two inches tall, and before the third leaf emerges.

Black Oil Sunflower Seeds after Soaking 4 hours

Are Sunflower Shoots Healthy? What are the health benefits of sunflower shoots?

Sunflower shoots are high in folate, iron, manganese, selenium, thiamin, and magnesium. They are high in fiber and protein too.

Bags of Sunflower Shoots Salad Mix Ready to Sell At the Farmer’s Market

What Do Sunflower Shoots Taste Like?

Fresh, nutty with a strong hind of sunflower seed flavor. A succulent and somewhat crunchy mouthfeel.

What’s the Best Way to Eat Sunflower Shoots

Snack on them as is. Weird, I know. Who just eats plain leaves? It’s so true though. I often sold out of sunflower shoots at the farmer’s market. I filled paperbags with sunflower shoots and some of my spicy mix of microgreens and sold them as a Sunflower Shoots Salad Mix. Those bags sold out regularly. Some bought them for snacking on as they continued shopping around the farmer’s market. Straight outta the bag. No dressing required.

The more common way of eating them is as a salad. Use sunflower shoots as you would any lettuce in a salad. Subsitute all the lettuce, or just some.

Looking for inspiration: Check out our Simple Sunflower Shoots Salad With Citrus recipe here.

Sunflower Shoots are also great tucked in burgers and wraps. But, tuck them in fresh spring rolls too.

Wondering if can you eat sunflower shoots cooked? There is nothing inherently bad about eating cooked sunflower shoots, but I woudn’t recommend it. Sunflower shoots lose their crunch and soft, but overly chewy.

How to Store Sunflower Shoots

Store dry sunflower shoots in an airtight container (Pyrex-type with a tight lid, glass jar, or Ziplock-type bag). Make sure they are dry before storing. Allow to air dry on a towel lined tray, or use a small fan to ensure they are completely dry before storing. Place a dry paper towel in the airtight container and refrigerate.

Unlike for typical microgreens, you can wash sunflower shoots before storing in the fridge. For longevity and freshness, allow them to dry before placing in the fridge.

Packaged Sunflower Shoots and Mixed Microgreens Salad Mix

What is the Shelf Life of Sunflower Shoots?

Sunflower shoots are best within 5 days of harvesting, but they can last up to a week or more if kept dry in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Where Can I Find Sunflower Shoots?

Sunflower shoots are going mainstream these days. You can often find them in health food stores, like Whole Foods. However, for the best Sunflower Shoots, visit your local farmer’s market. Small farmer’s tend to harvest their sunflower shoots the same day, so you have the freshest and longest lasting microgreens.

Are Sunflower Shoots Easy To Grow?

Yes! Sunflower Shoots are easy to grow. Check out our guide to grow Sunflower Shoots (Sunflower Microgreens) here.

Black Bean Burger with Sunflower Shoots

Veggie Burgers with Sunflower Shoots is a go to recipe in my house. I have been making Kenji Lopez-Alt’s spicy black bean burger recipe.

My Friend Daniel make an amazing sunflower shoots salad. It’s called the Signature Sunflower Shoots and Radish Microgreens Salad Recipe. It’s delicious and contains Sunflower Shoots, Grapefruit and Radish Microgreens.

About QM

About QM

Sign up to get the very latest twice monthly


Quantum Microrgeens is your guide to living well inside & out. This website is all about clean(ish) recipes, living tips and everything microgreens. We're Melissa & Kelly, two sisters living in California and Connecticut, on a mission


SEE more →

Sourdough Tortillas Recipe: Fluffy, Soft, Fast 


make it →

This recipe uses sourdough starter discard and transforms it into delicious, homemade tortillas perfect for tacos, burritos, or just enjoying on their own!

A place where plants are magical, cookbooks are read for fun, and salads are never boring.

Get the (outside) inside scoop

cookbook reader


Melissa & Kelly
The outside Inside Digest
sent bi-Monthly


My Summer 2024 Resolution, a selection of  Father's Day Gifts, find out about my new favorite condiment, beach games galore + more!


What's Inside
The Latest Issue?