Make Time for Thyme

Fresh herbs are loaded with color, flavor and powerful antioxidants. From entrées to sides and dessert, aromatic thyme dresses up fall favorites.

Eating green is a hot topic these days. I love the double meaning: eating green to support sustainable agriculture and our beautiful Earth and eating green because naturally green foods are so health-building!Take fresh herbs for example. They're loaded with color, flavor and powerful antioxidants - valuable plant compounds that may play a vital role in promoting health. While there are many awesome herbs to choose from, Fall is a good time to talk about thyme, an aromatic herb to spice up everything from roast chicken to casseroles to cookies!

There are many species of thyme, but here in the U.S. we are most familiar with English thyme and lemon thyme, which has a wonderful lemony flavor! No matter which variety you choose, thyme is compatible with lots of different dishes and is an absolute must in Cajun cooking. I can't imagine Louisiana Creole without the magic of thyme!Whether you use a whole thyme sprig or the tiny little leaves, you'll add delicious aroma and unique flavor to your dish, but don't let this keep you from using dried thyme as well. As a general rule, use three times as much fresh as dried. And remember that because fresh thyme is a fairly hardy herb, you can add it in the earlier phases of cooking - that's one reason why it works so well with roasted meats, fowl, veggies and vegetarian dishes alike. Dried thyme can be used in most any recipe that calls for fresh thyme; just be sure to make the proper adjustment in amount used. When you take time to cook with fresh herbs like thyme you get great flavor, versatility, good nutrition, and you can cut back on salt and fat. Here are some great uses for thyme:

Purchase beautiful green leaves - no browning or yellowing, please! Once home, wash under running water; dry and wrap in a paper towel and store in a plastic bag in the fridge for about 5 to 7 days. Ideally, fresh herbs should be used as soon as possible after purchasing. Keep dried herbs for up to 6 months or longer in a pantry.Got a favorite way to add thyme to your recipes? I would love to hear!

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