Thyme is part of the mint family and has tiny leaves with a minty, tealike flavor. There are approximately sixty different varieties of thyme.
Thyme has similar benefits as other mints due to its volatile oil content. There are many oil components and thyme oil has been shown to possess antispasmodic and antibacterial actions.
Applied topically, it has also been reported that it has a strong fungicidal property.
Thyme also contains a variety of flavonoids which play a big role in its antioxidant capacity. Adding to that the fact that it is rich in manganese, it becomes highly placed on the list of antioxidant-rich foods.
Tips to select and store:
Thyme is available fresh or dried. When you can, go for the fresh version. It is richer in flavor and aroma. The leaves are a vibrant green-gray color and they should be free from dark spots or yellowing. Fresh thyme should be kept in the refrigerator, wrapped in a slightly damp paper towel, where it will keep for up to seven days.
If you can’t find fresh thyme, be sure to pick the organically grown thyme since they are less likely to have been irradiated. Dried thyme can be kept in a tightly sealed glass container in a cool, dark, dry place, where it will remain fresh for about six months.
Tips for use & serving ideas:
- Add thyme towards the end of the cooking process since heat can cause a loss of its volatile oils and affect the flavor.
- Thyme mixes well with garlic, basil and oregano, which can be used to prepare a good sauce.
- Thyme can also be added to most vegetable dishes.
- Add thyme to homemade soups and stocks.
- You can infuse your favorite oils with a few springs of thyme.
- Fish pairs perfectly with thyme, add it to whitefish or salmon before cooking.
For the sake of simplicity, this article is kept short. If you need more details, leave a comment.
Reference: The encyclopedia of healing foods, Dr Michael Murray and Dr Joseph Pizzorno with Lara Pizzorno.