Sunflower Seeds

A Complete Guide to Eating Sunflower Seeds

To eat sunflower seeds, run your tongue along with the salty outer shell and crack it with your teeth. Spit out the shell before chewing the pit. repeat this. This article will show you how to become a master seeder: someone who can eat sunflower seeds while performing other tasks.

Learn the technique

Get a bag of sunflower seeds.

You can get a bag of seeds that are already shelled, but it’s more fun to eat the seeds if you have a little more “unwrapping” work to do. Choose from a range of flavors such as chipotle, salt or barbecue.

Put a sunflower seed in your mouth.

Start with just one so you can get the hang of the technique!

Push the core to one side in your mouth.

It’s easier to crack the pit in the side of your mouth than in the front.

Take the core between your teeth.

Put it in the right place with your tongue. Position it either vertically or horizontally, whichever you prefer. In any case, the outer edge of the bowl should be touching your teeth. Crack the shell with your molars (back teeth). They have a notch in the middle that holds the core. It’s more difficult with the two front teeth; you risk the core slipping and scratching your gums.

Apply firm and steady pressure to the core until it cracks.

The shell should yield slightly after a moment of intense pressure. Don’t bite down so hard that you crush the core, though.

Extract the core from your teeth.

Drop it onto your tongue.

Separate the inner core from the shell.

Pull the two apart with your tongue and teeth. The texture is the key to this step. The inner, edible core is smooth while the skin is rough.

Spit out the shell pieces.

With practice, the shell will usually crack open like a clam, making this step less of a mess.

Eat the core.

Eat more seeds

Put a handful of seeds in your mouth.

Some baseball players pop half a bag in their mouth at a time and chew it up over the course of an hour. The more seeds you can fit in your cheek, the better.

Push the kernels into a cheek!

You want them all in the same place so you can control them.

Push a core to the other side of your mouth.

Push it over with your tongue so it’s in the other cheek.

Crack the shell.

Position the core between the molars with your tongue, then bite down to crack the shell.

Spit out the shell and eat the core.

Repeat with another core.

Slide it from the “storage cheek” to the other cheek, bite down with your molars, spit out the shell, and eat the core.

Slowly increase the amount of Cores you can hold in your Supply Cheek!

This reduces the number of “reloads” per serving and that’s what the pros do.


If you want to shoot some kernels indoors, spit them into a cup or container. However, be polite and avoid annoying others with spitting noises. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t get it the first time. Professional sunflower seed eaters have had years of practice and that makes it look easy. Hang in there, practice makes perfect! If you’re a really serious stoner, try growing sunflowers and harvesting your own seeds! You can then decide for yourself how much salt you want. Be careful not to catch your tongue when opening the core in your mouth. Make sure you have a cup or container to spit the shells into while you drive the car. To avoid annoying your co-workers, try cracking the kernels with your mouth closed to reduce the irritating “popping” sound. Subscribe to our blog to discover more about healthy food.


Excessive eating of kernels leads to a sore tongue because of the amount of salt. Excessive consumption can have a laxative effect because of the fiber. Chew slowly so you don’t choke. Talk to your doctor to make sure it’s safe to consume 110 mg of salt with each meal (this is the amount in a typical serving of commercial sunflower seeds). Check the nutrient data label on the sunflower seed packet.

About the Author

Josh Morgan

Josh Morgan is CouponAnnie's Contributing Writer. He lives life on the cheap, but that doesn't mean a boring existence. Josh loves helping people focus on frugality without giving up the things they enjoy. When he's not getting deals, he's probably drawing or writing something amazing.