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The windows are open, and a cool fall breeze is blowing the curtains back and forth. The chickens are clucking, and the cow is starting to bellar as it is close to milking time. On our farm we have several fruit trees, apples being one of them. It's kind of funny because every time I mow with my daughter she points to the trees and depending on the season we eat cherries, crandall currents, apricots, plums, or apples. What a treat and blessing it is to pick fresh fruit right off the trees and bushes. Although you should wait to pick apples until after the first frost as they become sweeter, ours don't last that long with little fingers. For this reason, it may seem a little early, but I want to give you a quick tutorial on how to dehydrate apples. How to Dehydrate Apples Food and Items needed: ApplesDehydratorLarge bowlLemon juice (optional).Small paring knife. Directions: Step one is to pick apples from your tree, purchase at a farmers market, or buy them from the store.  Then wash your apples to make sure they are clean from spray, dirt, etc.  My children eat the peelings, so I want to make sure they are clean. Next, set up your apple peeler and place an apple on the tongs. Turn the apple peeler until you remove the core and peelings from the apple. As you peel the apples, discard the core into a bowl and feed them to your chickens or pigs, put them in the compost, or throw them in the trash.  The peelings you can munch on or discard the same way. The next step is to cut the ends of your apple ring with your knife and down one side. Or you can snap them off with your fingers. Depending on your apple peeler, some skin might be left on the apple coils. No worries, if you don't want to dehydrate that part, merely cut it off. Place the now peeled and cut apple slices in a bowl, and as an option, you can sprinkle lemon juice over the top to keep them from turning brown. I don't do this part because the apples taste the same either way when dehydrated.  Once you have enough apples, start placing them on the trays until the trays are full. Once the trays are filled, place the lid on, plug in your dehydrator, and set the temperature to 130 degrees.  Depending on the thickness of the apple slices it should take 4 to 5 hours until the batch is done, and your apples have a rubbery consistency. Then place the apple slices in bags and or jars and store until you are ready to munch and Enjoy! The dehydrated apples don't last long in our house, and sometimes I wonder why I went through all that trouble! But they seem to taste better. You can also take them as snacks in the car and don't have as great of a mess to clean up. Or bring them out for movie night along with popcorn for a nice snack. Either way, enjoy and remember to stay healthy and free! Heather EarlesIs the owner of H&E Literary Works LLC, writes for a local newspaper, has written several books to include  A Busy Morning On The Farm and an upcoming thriller/drama series called “Prisoner Within.” She is a Print Specialist for Pufferprint, writes a blog on healthy living to aid and inspire. She has a podcast called Herb ‘N Wisdom™, enjoys country living, God, and her family. “I love helping people feel better about life.” Learn more about the author

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