T imyan is a plant that is well known to amateur chefs and professional chefs. This fragrant, spicy weed is cultivated for use in culinary, medical, and cosmetic purposes. Thyme is healthy, tastes good. The view of the leaves of the bush is mouth-watering.
It is important to know that thyme may be familiar to you under a different name, such as “thyme”! That's right: thyme and thyme are almost the same plant. However, thyme is distinguished between ordinary and creeping. So, the second version - this is thyme. Both types of spicy plants are used in cooking, but if thyme is usually laid to enhance the flavor of dishes, thyme can often be found in herbal teas and other healthy drinks and boils.
Thyme: medicinal properties and contraindications
Before you talk about thyme as a seasoning, I want to refer to the description of this plant in terms of medicinal properties and contraindications. After all, any herbal supplement can bring both benefits and harm. Thyme - seasoning is very useful, but not faulty in terms of some of its qualities.
Thyme is a perennial shrub plant that belongs to the genus Yasnotkovy. More than three hundred species of this culture are known in the world. Thyme is evergreen, fragrant and juicy. Leaflets are predominantly small, evenly distributed over the entire height of the stem (up to 15–25 cm tall). The color of the leaves, depending on the variety, may have a juicy green hue or alternating from pale lilac to a muffled green tone. The aroma of the plant is pronounced - a mostly pleasant spicy shade is characteristic.
Thyme distribution originates from European countries, Eurasia, North Africa. A widespread plant in Russia. The culture is very unpretentious, therefore it is successfully grown in the territories of many countries. Thyme does not grow in climatic zones with high humidity, for example, in the tropics. However, when creating the right agronomic conditions (greenhouse, hotbed), it is quite possible to grow spicy seasoning in any locality.
Harmful thyme for health
In general, thyme is a seasoning that has a beneficial effect on the human body and does not pose any particular danger when eaten. However, in the world there are no products that are absolutely shown to everyone and under any circumstances. Thyme also. There are a number of contraindications for eating the product in question. For example, it is worth noting the following situations in which it is not recommended to use thyme for food purposes:
- peptic ulcer of the intestine, stomach, duodenum during exacerbation,
- children under 3 years old,
- the presence of allergies to this plant component.
It is also worth remembering that any spicy herb for the first time should be eaten with care and in a small amount, so as not to provoke a strong allergic reaction. If you have any chronic diseases that require special diets, do not include thyme as a seasoning or use it as a therapeutic component without consulting a doctor.
How to replace thyme in a recipe
In the case when a thyme is indicated in the recipe of a dish, but it is not possible to find it, you can replace this ingredient with other herbs. Similar aromatic and taste qualities are possessed by such herbs:
- lemon balm or peppermint,
Of course, other notes also enter the aromatic and flavoring gamut of these herbs. And some of the seasonings, frankly, are very different from thyme. However, the above is a list of spices that are definitely not inferior to this plant in the culinary race. There is still an option - to purchase a mixture of spicy Provence herbs or some other combination, where the composition contains thyme leaves. In other cases, instead of spices with juicy green leaves, you can take a drop of lemon juice or fresh lime. The combination of black pepper and lemon also gives a rich spicy aroma.
Where to add spice
Delicate thyme leaves and a stalk are almost universal seasoning, which suits different dishes, and also harmonizes well in the composition of herbal teas and pastries.
The plant has a noble taste and pleasant aroma. Therefore, a lot depends on taste preferences and imagination. A sprig of the plant will complement the vegetable salad or green mix. Spice fits perfectly into the fruit and berry composition.
If you add a little of this component to tea, the hot drink will sparkle with new colors. The warming liquid has a tonic effect. So this is what you need for a cozy winter evening.
It is also appropriate to add a little of this plant to honey or a vitamin mixture of nuts and dried fruits. Some people prepare wonderful decoctions, healing teas on the basis of leaves, and someone puts a couple of leaves in baking.
The world of culinary is rich and bright. And such a component as thyme, there is always a place! You can grow this weed on your own window. You can buy thyme in a store or in a market. If you have your own greenhouse or garden, this is also an option to get fresh seasoning to your own table.
If there are no contraindications, it is certainly worth getting acquainted with the taste and aromatic qualities of this seasoning. Eight out of ten people positively perceive such an additive in food. Well, if the spice was not to your taste - it does not matter! In the plant collection of herbs, there is something else that will be received with a bang and will take pride of place in the recipe book.
Thyme and its history.
Photo source: abedik.ru
In fact, cooking has always been considered a women's strength. But here our generation, for some reason, decided to prove the opposite. Not so long ago, there was a saying that the best cooks are men. So it may be so, but cooking every day for the family and cooking only sometimes for guests and visitors are different things. Visitors will not tell you in an insinuating voice, “But here you are oversalt, fell in love, or what?” Or “pepper is not enough, when will you learn to cook?” In restaurants there is a clear recipe that the chef should follow. It even describes the spices included in the composition, the way they are added and the exact amount. So what am I talking about. Spices have never been my forte. I’ll salt the soup, or pour so much pepper into the meat sauce that no one else will even dare. And then I managed to decide to learn how to cook for a loved one and friends. According to the recipe, which was easily found in the culinary encyclopedia, thyme and a bunch of other spices had to be added to the meat. But what kind of grass is this, you need to find out. And I began to look in the network and other places for clusters of female culinary educated individuals, how to use thyme in cooking and what kind of beast is this - thyme. My searches, fortunately, were successful soon. Either I don’t know how to cook at all, or it’s just that I’m not so educated, but it turns out to be thyme - this is the same thyme that my grandmother used to treat any sores and gargle with a decoction. But to add it to food, I have not tried this.
The history of the plant is quite long and dates back to ancient Egypt. Well, the Egyptians, with their advanced technologies, were definitely not fools. They used this plant both as perfume, because of the strong spicy aroma, and as a spice. And they dried and chewed in kind. Roman soldiers, in general, before the battle, drank thyme tinctures, supposedly to increase courage and courage. A kind of People’s Commissar one hundred grams are obtained. The plant was distributed around the world by none other than the monks. Well, of course, whoever eats one spiritual food, meat and fish should also be eaten, but with seasonings it will be all tastier.
Photo source: abedik.ru
In addition, as in cooking, thyme can be used in other areas of life. Even essential oil is made from it. And it, by the way, is very useful. There is such a substance as thymol in it, and this is practically the same menthol that is used in chewing gum and toothpastes. Some even advise that you can get rid of bad breath in your mouth by chewing a little thyme. But I’ll say right away that I haven’t tried it. For medicinal purposes, in addition to essential oil, decoctions are also used, so my grandmother rinsed the sore throat with a decoction of thyme. Well, in cooking, this spice is definitely not enough. Especially when fatty meat is cooked, thyme can easily digest even the largest slices of juicy lamb or pork. Mmm I even wanted to.
Well, now let's talk more about thyme, the use of which, for me, is shrouded in a cloud of secrets and mysteries. Since it smells strongly, the taste is spicy and slightly pungent, as I had not used it before. And now, after reading the whole pile of recipes, I want to shove it everywhere. And you can cram into many dishes. Thyme is added to some pastries. For example, brown bread. I saw it in stores, but I didn’t taste it, I don’t really like it when you chew a crisp, and something spicy in your teeth gets stuck. Meat without thyme seems to no longer exist. It is especially worth adding this seasoning to fatty and fried foods. And this homemade salko, and fatty pork, lamb ribs, various pies, ducks, geese, offal will also be much tastier if you add thyme. Well, you can add spice to vegetable dishes.
For example, sauerkraut with thyme acquires a pleasant bitterness and rich taste. If you are not satisfied with such options or you prefer a different set of seasonings for these dishes, then let me ask, do you like smoked meats? Of course yes? Well, what do you think gives them such a delicious spicy aroma and an incomparable taste. By the way, if you can add dried thyme in smoked meats and marinades, then it will be more pleasant to add fresh leaves to the meat. So, if you like to grow fresh spices or any other herbs on your windowsill, then thyme, whose seeds look like small peas, can be planted in exactly the same way. Well, after about a year, your dishes will be able to please their eaters with a rich and fresh taste. And your kitchen will be filled with spicy aroma.
Mentioning the use of the plant in cooking and medicine, we will not forget about the recipes of proven housewives. So, through some forums, I was able to find out that the benefits of such an herb as thyme are simply enormous. And not only in the kitchen. If you are annoyed by the smell of lavender, or you just have an allergy to it, and the moth in the closet eats up the last sweater, then you have an excellent and non-chemical solution. Put a thyme sprig in the cupboard and let the fur-eaters prepare their suitcases.
Dishes with thyme.
Photo source: kedem.ru
Having recognized thyme, the use of which in cooking is not limited to one category of dishes, it is worth showing you several recipes with its use. And start with the tastiest. Only do not drip the keyboard with saliva. For a snack we’ll try a little France with a ratatouille from Michel Gerard. To prepare it, we need sweet pepper, garlic (you can add a little, only for flavor, if you have kisses after dinner or lunch), a little onion, a few eggplants, zucchini, tomatoes, and we will use that flavor thyme, parsley, bay leaf and black pepper. We cut all vegetables except peppers in circles. In olive oil, fry the onion until soft, add garlic and a couple of chopped tomatoes without skin and seeds, sweet pepper, spices. Stew this mixture until the state of sauce. Pour the sauce in a special container, where we will cook. Then beautifully spread the circles of tomatoes, eggplant and zucchini and send to the oven. When the top layer has a golden hue, we take out the finished dish and sprinkle it with parsley, salt, pepper and sprinkle with olive oil.
As a main course, serve lamb in a glaze with thyme and avocado. We will need lamb, a couple of lemons, avocados, blue onions, garlic, chili peppers, for lovers of peppers, smoked peppers, honey, olive oil, ground pepper, thyme. At the very beginning of cooking, soak the peppers in hot water for half an hour. Preparing a marinade for meat: mix the juice of one lemon with olive oil, ground pepper and finely chopped thyme. Pour the meat with marinade and leave it to bask in it. At this time, prepare the icing. Mix the zest of lemons with honey and add mashed smoked and already soaked peppers, salt, if the glaze is too hard, then add a little water in which the peppers are soaked. Fry the meat on the grill, but if there is none, then just send it to the oven, and a few minutes before cooking, grease with glaze. We serve our dish with avocado salad (finely chop the onion, avocado, chili, garlic, tomato and a little cilantro, season with lemon juice).
Well, have salivations already begun to flow, and the stomach tossed around displeased? Well then, at the end of the meal, you should calm him down with tea and thyme. We brew ordinary black tea, add six branches of thyme to it. In mulled wine glasses we put a sliced sour green apple, sprinkle it with sugar, cinnamon and add our tea. In addition to the fact that this drink is incredibly tasty, it is also useful for colds, and it will warm pleasantly during the winter cold season.
What can be replaced?
Photo source: favoritedishes.ru
To use thyme in cooking recipes there is a huge amount. But what to do if there is no seasoning in your arsenal, and you need to cook the very dish where you can’t do without it. So, using thyme in cooking, you should definitely know how to replace it. If in your kitchen there was not a single branch of thyme, then it can be safely replaced with oregano. The taste of this will not change, except that it will become a little softer.
Well, here we talked about tasty and healthy food. We learned that you can arrange a small garden on your windowsill and grow any seasonings and aromatic herbs for delicious dishes. Now we can please guests and loved ones with delicious food, which will be remembered not only for the stomach, but also for the tongue. And most importantly, I finally found out that thyme and thyme are one and the same plant and now I can use it when cooking. But it is worth remembering that the basic law of spices and other spices is not to overdo it. So we follow him and saturate our stomachs with yummy.
Note: on our website you will find excellent tips on decorating your home - handicrafts for home master class.
What is thyme?
Thyme also has a second popular name - thyme. In different places it is also called the Bogorodskaya grass, pine forest, spruce, cobweed, swan, lemon darling, incense. It is an undersized aromatic shrub or shrub. This is an essential oil plant consisting of phenolic compounds - thymol, carvacrol and others.
Most housewives appreciate it as a spice. The leaves of the plant, which are located on thin stems, are considered a spicy supplement. Small thyme leaves have a rigid structure, oblong shape, slightly resembling leather plates. Further in the article you will learn where to add thyme fresh and dry. Seasoning has a pronounced aroma and a bitter spicy taste.
The ancient Greeks grew this plant in the temples of the goddess Aphrodite. They considered him a symbol of courage and strength. And this is no accident. Fragrant spice is also very good for human health. It contains a lot of essential oil, tar, mineral and organic salts, flavonoids. Due to such a rich composition, it is often included in many therapeutic folk remedies. Thyme is harvested in Turkey and in European countries - Poland, Czech Republic, Greece.
Types of Thyme
The most common type of thyme is considered to be creeping or ordinary thyme. Besides him, culinary specialists also use lemon and caraway plants. Each of them has its own peculiarity, thanks to which the taste of the dish is emphasized favorably. The pronounced spicy taste of thyme is combined with many products.
Caraway thyme is considered more rare, but it gives the dishes a special piquancy, goes well with meat, chicken and fish. The wild lemon variety has a citrus flavor, which is especially suitable for desserts and seafood.
In Russia and neighboring countries, about 170 species of thyme are growing. The most common plant species: creeping, flea, Ural, Siberian. Also found Crimean, Dagestan and Kyrgyz. Where do thyme add?
What type of thyme is used
Many are interested in learning not only where to add thyme, but also in what form. To maximize all its taste and aroma, it is better to use fresh twigs. But since this product is not always on store shelves, many use it in dried form. The advantages of seasoning from this do not change. It takes time to reveal the aroma of thyme, so it is added to the dish at the very beginning of cooking. Dry leaves are stored in glass, tightly closed jars in a dark place. Thyme seed oil is also used in medicine and cosmetology.
Where and how much to add thyme seasoning?
Применение чабреца в кулинарии очень широкое. Сейчас мы поговорим о том, куда добавлять тимьян в еду. Часто с этой приправой проводят эксперименты и применяют ее даже при готовке десертов. Вот перечень блюд, в которые можно добавлять тимьян сухой и свежий:
- Мясные блюда. There is no more unusual dish with a minimum of ingredients than a piece of fresh meat with thyme, that is, barbecue, steak or chicken in the oven. To cook beef steak, put a frying pan on a fire, pour in olive oil and add a few twigs of thyme. When the pan is well heated, put the meat in it and add 4-5 crushed cloves of garlic. Fry the steak on both sides and salt it. A similar procedure will take you 2-4 minutes, depending on the desired degree of frying. Transfer meat to a plate, but without garlic and thyme.
- Another meat dish with thyme will be baked chicken in the oven or on the grill. First, marinate the chicken with 50 g of thyme leaves, 150 g of butter and a teaspoon of lemon juice. Rub chicken with this mixture and send to bake.
A great addition to salads, fish and soups
We have listed above where thyme is added. In addition to the above dishes with thyme, there are also such:
- First meal. Thyme opens for a long time, so add it to the broth at the very beginning of cooking. For soups, you can use both fresh and dried thyme.
- Vegetable salads. Let us give you an example of the classic Nicoise salad. To prepare it, take 200 gr. cherry tomatoes, 5 quail eggs, one bell pepper, cucumber, onion, anchovies and olives. Season everything with a mixture of olive oil, a pinch of sugar, a spoonful of mustard, thyme, rosemary, dill, black pepper and salt.
- Fish meals. The fried salmon steak is perfectly complemented by the rich and pleasant taste of thyme. For frying, use olive oil in which add thyme. Add the finished steak with a few drops of lemon juice.
And where else add dried thyme? It, like fresh thyme, is great for making tea, because it is an essential oil herb with a lot of phenolic compounds and a number of other components. How does thyme tea affect the body:
- cleanses the intestines from parasites,
- It has an analgesic effect
- has antibacterial properties,
- is an expectorant drink,
- positively affects the digestive system.
Try making thyme tea. Pour boiling water over several branches of the bush, bring to a boil. Add some honey after cooling and enjoy a spicy drink.
The combination of spices and its replacement with others
With certain products, thyme is used as an independent spice, but it can also be combined with other seasonings: with oregano, bay leaf, parsley, rosemary, marjoram, tarragon, lavender. Thyme will be a great addition to cheeses, beans, carrots, eggplant, chicken, rabbit, pork, mushrooms, potatoes, tomatoes, apples, honey, pear.
Thyme is considered a unique seasoning. What to do if you suddenly did not happen to acquire this spice? You can replace it with marjoram or oregano (oregano).
Where to add fresh thyme for medicinal purposes?
In ancient times, thyme was considered a divine herb, returning to a person not only health, but also life. The ancient Greeks sniffed it like tobacco. Thyme herb is rich in essential oils, tannins and bitter substances, gum, flavonoids, mineral and organic salts. It contains many vitamins of groups A, B, C, magnesium, calcium, sodium, potassium, phosphorus, copper, selenium, zinc and iron.
Thyme is a good antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and analgesic, antispasmodic, it also has a small hypnotic effect. No wonder it is used in folk medicine. It is suitable for preparing decoctions, infusions, baths. It alleviates the condition with bronchitis, removes sputum, has expectorant properties. Sometimes it is used as a sedative and anticonvulsant.
Thyme essential oil is widely used in cosmetology. This is a great helper in strengthening hair and nails, so it is part of shampoos, lotions and balms.