Olive Oil and Thyme

Thyme is ‘Zaatar’ in Arabic. Thyme and Olive Oil was a VERY common breakfast food in my home growing up. At the time I never realized how healthy I was eating. My mom would prepare sandwiches of thyme & olive oil on fresh pita bread or flatbread. We called it ”zait and zaatar”. It could also be used as a dip as well. You would dip a pita chip or piece of pita bread into the olive oil and then into the thyme. Thyme is most popularly used as one of the main ingredients in the spice mix named after it – Zaatar. This ‘Mixed Zaatar’ is actually a mix of dried and mashed thyme, sesame seeds and sumac citrus berries so it easily stuck to the olive oil for dipping. It makes for a very filling and healthy meal.
Zaatar is traditionally eaten as part of a healthy breakfast and is ideal as an aperitif or hors d’oeuvre. Zaatar can also be used for cooking and is sprinkled over chicken, vegetables, salads and fish.
We know many of the benefits of the olive oil, but what are the benefits of thyme? What makes it so healthy to eat?

For all of the gardeners, thyme is a perrenial and can easily be planted at home. Also, insects do not like it so you are guaranteed it will stay fresh. Thyme also repels insects, so if you have any illness in the house or any problem spots in your house or yard – think of thyme. In ancient times, thyme was used to give off an excellent aroma to the house.

Eating ‘Mixed Zaatar’ on a daily basis may not be a bad idea as plain Zaatar (thyme) also has many benefits that you may not be aware of. Eating Zaatar on bread helps you digest the heaviness of the bread and can prevent many digestive reactions related to bread. Herbalists say that Zaatar is a used to treat gastrointestinal disorders because it is a fantastic anti-fungal, anti-biotic, anti-septic, and anti-microbial agent. Thyme has flavanoids and provides us antioxidants. It also contains iron, manganese, calcium and fiber. Thymol is also contained in thyme which is rich in monounsaturated fat (the good fat). Some studies have shown it may “make you smarter”.

Thyme is a vermifuge and daily consumption of it helps keep worms and other parasites from dwelling in your body. You can eat the leaves or drink the tea for this purpose.
Drinking the green leafy tea also has many health benefits. A few cups a day will ease menstrual cramps as well as relieve the tenseness and moodiness that often accompanies PMT. Zaatar is also helpful for stomach problems as well as coughs and fever. Thyme tea is a wonderfully pleasant tea for children’s coughs as they delight in the flavour. It is also said to alleviate whooping cough and nightmares. It helps in the elimination of phlegm, relieves any pain that may accompany the illness and calms a child’s nerves.

Zaatar is ideal for food lovers and connoisseurs to bring a real Middle Eastern flavour to their table. Try the Zait and Zaatar and let Suz Beauty Care know what you think. It is a very healthy, inexpensive meal.