Barbara Intermill | Tribune News Service (TNS)
This time of year, the sight always takes my breath away: acres and acres of sunflowers in full bloom, smiling at the sun as we drive through rural areas of our state.
The cultivated beauties are related to the smaller and more prolific sunflowers (they’re too pretty to call weeds) that pop up along roadsides and hills throughout much of North America.
Native Americans were the first people to domesticate wild sunflowers for their seeds, according to the National Sunflower Association.
Today, there are two basic varieties of commercial sunflowers: one that produces the typical black-and-white striped seeds we eat for snacks, and another that bears smaller black seeds used to make oil.
And just so I get my semantics right, there is a difference between a sunflower kernel and a sunflower seed. The kernel is the “meat” that has been removed from the outer shell...