With traffic as bad as it is, can your car really be said to get you anywhere? And with our current high summer temperatures, isn’t it time you learned to put your almost-never-driven car to better uses — like dehydrating local, organic fruit?

Dehydrate figs in a car

Because if you’ve mastered the art of baking in your car, it’s time to move your vehicle-culinary skills beyond desserts and into the more healthy realms that take advantage of farmers’ market bounty or your backyard fruit tree — while avoiding any late-night TV infomercials to buy yet another gizmo your kitchen doesn’t have room for.

Thanks to Lyanda Lynn Haupt at Tangled Nest, you’ve got photo-illustrated directions to help you dry fruit in the dehydrator you already own — your car. (via lifehacker) “I found a simple idea that made immediate, intuitive sense: why not use the fine German-engineered solar collector we already had sitting in our driveway?” Lyanda writes.

Apparently, Seattle weather in the high 70s made for perfect dehydrating temperatures in-car — though Lyanda does add a caveat: “I confess this experiment was not entirely carbon-neutral: when our driveway shaded over at about 3 PM, I backed the car onto the street to get four more hours of direct sun!”

Considering the rather high prices of organic dried fruit — at least at my local co-op — this trick could save you a lot of money — as well as keep you from driving your car too much. Dry, don’t drive!

Photo courtesy of The Tangled Nest

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