22 May 2006

Herbs - Common Thyme

Common Thyme is one of 250 other types of Thyme. It is part of the mint family. The Egyptians used this herb in enbalming, whilst the Greeks used it in their baths and burnt it as incense in their temples. In medieval times, women would often give knights and warriors gifts that included thyme leaves as it was believed to bring courage to the bearer. It was brought to North America with the first colonialists as a food preservative and medicine.

Health and Nutrition

Thyme is an antiseptic, antispasmodic, tonic and carminative.

It's essential oil is used in aromatherapy to boost the mind, body and spirit. Thyme oil must only be used externally.

Thyme contains Thymol oil which increases the percentage of healthy fats in brain, kidney and heart cell membranes. Thyme also contains a variety of flavonoids making it an excellent antioxident food. It contains iron, manganese, calcium and fiber.

For digestive upsets, flatulence, loss of appetite and exhaustion, Thyme Tea is found to give relief. Also helps in the elimination of phlegm and soothes coughs (perfect for children due to it's low toxicity levels) and is found to be helpful with PMS cramps. Pour one cupful of boiling water onto 2 teaspoons of thyme. Leave to infuse for 5-10 minutes. Strain and sweeten. Make fresh tea each time and drink as required before or after meals.

In The Kitchen

The addition of freshly chopped thyme adds an earthy, floral flavor to casseroles, entrées, salad dressings, sauces and soups. To prepare for chopping, hold the root end of a sprig of thyme with both sets of your index finger and thumb. Hold the end tightly with one set, while using the other to quickly scale down the thick stem, removing all of the leaves. Discard the stem and use a sharp knife to chop the leaves.

A Simple Bouquet Garni

3 stalks parsley,
1 sprig thyme and
1 bay leaf

Tie the herbs together in a little bundle with a piece of string. Add to any stew, sauce or casserole you're preparing and remove the bouquet garni before serving.

Carrot Fritters With Chives and Thyme from

3 cups coarsely grated carrots
1 cup flour
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 cup water
almond oil or peanut oil (for frying)
4-6 servings

Mix the carrots, flour, herbs, salt and baking powder together thoroughly.
Gradually add the water to form a thick batter.
Heat one inch of oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.
Drop the carrot batter into the skillet by teaspoons and fry until slightly crisped (about 30 seconds), flipping once.
Drain on a paper towel.
Serve warm, with a little barbeque sauce or soy sauce for dipping.

Mushrooms Griddle Style

8 large flat field mushrooms
Bunch fresh thyme
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
Small bunch flat-leaf parsley leaves, finely chopped
1 red chilli, finely chopped
1 lemon, zest finely grated and juiced
Balsamic vinegar (optional)

Heat a heavy griddle pan on the stove. Slice the bottom off each mushroom, then place the tops on the griddle, flat side down. Wrap some string around the thyme to make a brush. Put the brush end with a large pinch of salt in the mortar and then bash, adding about 5 teaspoons of extra-virgin olive oil and the white wine vinegar. Add a bit more salt and pepper. Using the thyme bundle as a brush turn the mushrooms over and brush with the thyme oil, keep dabbing them while they are cooking. When the mushrooms are cooked, place them on a serving plate and sprinkle them with the parsley, chilli, and lemon zest. Squeeze over the lemon juice and drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil. Add a little balsamic vinegar, if you like.

For more info visit:
Chamomile Times
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