Made from sunflower seeds, sunflower oil is a healthy alternative to other vegetable oils. It’s a great option for cooking, and it’s good for your skin and hair, too.
Although you can buy sunflower oil in stores, making it at home is relatively simple. Plus, making sunflower oil yourself will give you a richer, more flavorful product.
If you’re wondering how to make sunflower oil, this post is for you. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know.
What You’ll Need to Make Sunflower Oil
Before you start making sunflower oil, make sure you have all the supplies you’ll need:
- Sunflower seeds
- Rolling pin
- Plastic bag
- Two bowls
- Baking sheet
- Glass bottle (for storage)
How to Make Sunflower Oil in 7 Steps
Ready to make sunflower oil at home? Follow the steps below!
1. Choose Your Sunflower Seeds
Perhaps surprisingly, sunflower oil can’t be made from just any sunflower seed. Sunflowers come in oilseed and non-oilseed varieties, and only the oilseeds can be used to make your own sunflower oil.
Oilseed sunflowers produce solid black seeds, whereas the more commonly-recognized striped sunflower seeds do not produce oil. We can recommend the Black Oil Sunflower Seeds sold through one of our favorite seed retailers, Hoss Tools!
2. Prepare The Sunflower Seeds
Once you have your sunflower seeds, the next step to making sunflower oil is to clean and peel them.
To clean your sunflower seeds, place them in a sieve or strainer, and rinse with water. Then, spread the seeds in a single layer on a baking sheet, and allow them to dry completely (this will make the peeling process easier). Ideally, place the baking sheet in the sun so that the seeds dry thoroughly.
Once the sunflower seeds are dry, place them in a plastic bag. Gently use a rolling pin to roll and press on the bag, cracking the shells and allowing them to separate. Be careful not to crush the seeds themselves.
Then, separate the shells from the seeds. The easiest way to do this is to pour them into a bowl of water. The shells will float to the top, while the seeds sink to the bottom. Remove the shells from the surface of the water, and then strain what remains to get your seeds.
3. Blend Your Sunflower Seeds
Once you have your sunflower seeds, place them in the blender. Blend them until the consistency is fine, smooth, and almost a paste (but not quite there yet). You may start to see oil begin to come out of the seeds.
Add one to two tablespoons of water, and then resume blending. Now, the sunflower seeds will start to form a paste. Continue blending and adding small amounts of water as needed as the paste forms. Be careful not to add too much water, or your paste will become too sticky and difficult to work with.
As you notice more oil coming out of the seeds and the mixture becomes a thick paste, stop blending.
4. Extract the Oil
Next, to make sunflower oil from the paste, transfer the mixture to a bowl and massage it with your hands. You will notice some oil start to separate from the paste.
Taking small portions of the paste at a time, use your hands to squeeze the oil out of the paste. Do this over a sieve resting on your second bowl so that you can collect the oil as it separates.
Collect as much oil as you can using this method.
After you’ve collected as much oil as you can from the uncooked seeds, spread the remaining paste on a baking sheet. Roast it at 300 degrees Fahrenheit for 18 to 20 minutes, stirring the mixture every few minutes.
6. Strain Again
Remove the sunflower seed paste from the oven, and place it in a strainer over the bowl you previously used to collect your sunflower oil. Let it sit for three to four hours to let the oil continue to collect.
7. Store Your Sunflower Oil
Once you’ve extracted and collected all of the sunflower oil, use a funnel to transfer it from the bowl to a sealed, glass bottle.
Because it doesn’t contain preservatives like many commercially made sunflower oils, it can spoil after some time. I recommend using the sunflower oil within a month. Keep it sealed and store it in the refrigerator to maximize its shelf life.
Health Benefits of Sunflower Oil
As mentioned above, sunflower oil has many different uses and benefits.
Benefits of Cooking with Sunflower Oil
Sunflower oil is a great, healthy alternative to other types of vegetable oil. In general, it has fewer saturated fats than other options, and it’s a good source of Vitamin E.
To understand the health benefits of sunflower oil, it’s important to know the different types. There are several different varieties of sunflower oil, each containing varying levels of linoleic acid (omega-6) and oleic acid (omega-9).
High oleic sunflower oils contain more monounsaturated fats, which are healthier fats. Oleic acid has been associated with hearth health and lower levels of cholesterol, so sunflower oils higher in this compound may have these benefits, too.
Linoleic sunflower oils, on the other hand, contain more polyunsaturated fat, which is less healthy than monounsaturated fat. Linoleic acid can also lead to inflammation in the body if consumed in excess, so these types of sunflower oil should be avoided.
To summarize, many vegetable oils are high in saturated fats. However, sunflower oil contains more unsaturated fats, and high oleic varieties can be a healthier option.
Other Benefits for Your Body
In addition to being a good cooking oil, sunflower oil can be good for your skin and hair, too.
First and foremost, sunflower oil is great for hydrating and repairing your skin. Additionally, its Vitamin E content gives it antioxidant properties, which can prevent damage and reduce signs of aging. Most importantly, it’s non- comedogenic, which means it won’t clog your pores.
These same benefits make sunflower oil great for your scalp and hair. It can help with dry skin issues (like dandruff) and can add moisture to dry hair. Plus, Vitamin E and oleic acid help promote hair growth.
Keep in mind that some people do have allergic reactions to sunflower oil, so it’s best to test it on a small patch of skin before you use it more broadly.
How to Use Sunflower Oil
Sunflower oil can be used as an alternative to vegetable oils when cooking. It has a high smoke point, which makes it good for roasting, frying, and other high-temperature cooking.
You can also use sunflower oil to make a vinaigrette for salads. Try this flavorful vinaigrette or the one on this summer salad.
In addition to cooking, you can also use sunflower oil on your skin and hair.
Many skincare products like lotions, lip balms, and facial oils contain sunflower oil to promote hydration and other benefits listed above.
For your hair, try making a sunflower oil hair mask, by mixing it with ingredients like avocado, honey, and coconut oil. You can also use a sunflower oil conditioner.
However, heat styling with oil can damage your hair. So if you do use sunflower oil to treat your hair, avoid straightening, curling, or other style methods that require heat.
Wrapping Up How to Make Sunflower Oil
Now that you know how to make sunflower oil, the possibilities are endless. Especially if you have a sunflower garden or a surplus of seeds, making sunflower oil is a great way to ensure you always have some cooking oil, as well as skincare and haircare products, on hand.
Want to discover more about these beautiful flowers? Then keep reading about sunflowers to learn how to plant and grow them, as well as dry them for décor, and even make sunflower oil!