Even Non-Bakers Should Visit The Baking Aisle At The Supermarket

assortment of baking ingredients
assortment of baking ingredients - Fcafotodigital/Getty Images

You don't bake, you don't have plans to bake, and the thought of trying to take perfectly made loaves of bread and chocolate chip cookies out of the oven fills you with immediate dread. That doesn't mean you should avoid the market aisles that contain all of the baking ingredients. Just as wandering through a bookstore might inspire you with new ideas and inspiration as you browse various book titles, stumbling through the aisles of the supermarket you tend to avoid can also yield sparks of genius as you next step foot into your kitchen to prepare a decent meal.

Tucked into the shelves of the baking aisle, you can find flavors and ingredient additions that can be used in other recipes -- and not simply for the baked buttery, sugary recipes of your cookies, cakes, and banana-loaf-filled dreams. From packages of chopped nuts, shelves filled with an assortment of flavored extracts, and canned ingredients ready to be stirred into recipes, tonight's dinner may benefit from a bit of culinary creativity.

Read more: 12 Popular Grocery Store Butter Brands, Ranked

Finding Inspiration In The Grocery Store

woman standing in supermarket aisle
woman standing in supermarket aisle - Sdi Productions/Getty Images

Though markets will arrange products and ingredients differently in each aisle, set out to notice the variety of options available to you as you wander through your local store. In the baking section, vanilla extract, cocoa powder, dried spices, and packaged herbs are often stacked alongside packages of flour and cartons of yeast. Look for ingredients that you can easily mix into other recipes for immediate boosts of flavor.

Stirring canned pumpkin into a sauce or adding blanched almonds on top of soups and salads can transform an expected recipe into a surprising treat, for example, and sprinkling spices onto bowls of yogurt, ice cream, and oatmeal can quickly elevate a standard dish. Experimenting with flavor is one of the ways chefs can develop their skills, and pumping up old recipes with ingredients you've picked up in the baking aisle can bring fresh flavors and intriguing tastes to even the most conventional recipes.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.