Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Guest Posting: It's time to learn about thyme!








Thyme Roasted Carrots

•Ingredients

•2 tablespoons olive oil
•1 1/2 pounds carrots, cut diagonally into 1 1/2-inch lengths
•1 teaspoon salt
•1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
•4 sprigs fresh thyme
•2 tablespoons unsalted butter
•1 tablespoon honey

Cooking Directions

•Preheat the oven to 450°F.
•Place a medium ovenproof sauté pan over high heat and add the olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the carrots, salt and pepper and cook for 2 minutes on each side. Add the thyme sprigs and butter, and drizzle with the honey.
•Transfer the pan to the oven and roast for 6 to 8 minutes, or until the carrots are golden and crisp-tender.
•Serve immediately.

Recipe by Emeril Lagasse

Where Thyme Come From?

Thyme, the perennial herb, originates in Southern Europe and is classified in the same plant as mint. There are 350 species in the genus Thymus. The name comes from Latin ‘Thymus” or Greek “Thymos” meaning spirit or smoke. It is pronounce “Time”

How is Thyme Grown?

Thyme prefers a mild climate but can survive temperatures below freezing. It tolerates cold better in well-drained soil. You can plant Thyme from the seed anywhere in the United States two to three weeks before your average date of last frost. It likes sandy loam soil and full sun to partial shade.


Harvesting Thyme

Thyme can be picked as needed. When drying thyme, harvest when the plants begin to bloom. Cut off the tops of the branches with four to five inches of flowering stems. After letting the thyme dry out, crumble the thyme and put into tightly capped jars.

It can also be used while it is fresh and just picked off the plant.

Thyme In Cuisines

Thyme is used frequently in Mediterranean, Italian and Provençal French cuisines. It is most popular in French cuisine for its use in bouquet garni, which is blend of herbs, good for soups and stocks. In Bouquet Garni, thyme is combined and blended with rosemary, marjoram, parsley, oregano and bay leaf for a great combination of flavors.

Thyme pairs well with lamb, poultry and tomatoes, and is often used in soups, stews, stocks and sauces. Whole sprigs of fresh thyme may be used when roasting meats and poultry or vegetables. If whole sprigs are used, after cooking, the stems must be removed because they tough and woody.

Six sprigs is usually equivalent to a tablespoon.

Flavor Of Thyme

There many varieties of thyme, the two types that are mainly used in cooking are common thyme and lemon thyme. Both of these types of thyme have a sweet, mildly pungent flavor. It is considered a great culinary herb due to its strong flavor value.

Health Benefits Of Thyme

Historically, thyme has been used as a remedy for chest and respiratory problems, Its volatile oils also increase its antioxidant activity. The essential oil is made partially of Thymol, which is a strong antiseptic, that before the arrival of modern antibiotics, was used to medicate bandages and soothe cuts. It is also widely used for its deodorant qualities and even included in some toothpastes.
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This guest posting was written by Ariana Kulinczenko. Ariana is a dietetics student at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. 
 

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