I began harvesting sunflower seeds with a knife or a spoon and it was effective but it got seeds all over my kitchen. It was also a little labor-intensive. I then found that I could use my husband’s cement mixer with a few balls thrown in and all I had to do was come back and pull out my seeds. This was fabulous. I was so happy to have a great technique and so I shared it with others. The only problem was that not everyone has a cement mixer. With that in mind, I was determined to find another easy way that was a little more accessible. The clothes dryer is very similar to a cement mixer in movement but requires a few additional steps.
remove the blossoms, petals, and leaves
Start with dry sunflower heads and remove all of the blossoms, petals, and leaves.
Staple in a paper bag
Next, place the head seed side down in a paper bag. Staple the top closed with closely spaced staples.
place in a plastic bag
Place this paper bag inside a thick, plastic bag with a drawstring.
Tie top closed well
I like to tie it like a balloon and then twist the drawstrings around the neck of the bag and tie them together.
place in dryer
Now place the bag in the dryer.
set to no heat for 25 minutes
Set it for a quick cycle (25 minutes or so) and change it to no heat. Press start and allow it to do its thing.
Cut the bag open and remove your seeds
After the cycle is complete, remove the bag and open it. You will find the plastic bag has caught the “dust” from the sunflower. Cut off the top of the brown paper bag and pull out the sunflower head. It may have a few tenacious seeds but those usually come out pretty easily at this point. The rest of the seeds will be in the bottom of your bag just waiting for you. I love it because I just pick up my bag and pour them directly into jars for later use.
If you would like to see how I do my brining and roasting take a look at this post: https://wisdompreserved.life/how-to-process-sunflower-seeds-harvest-brine-and-roast/