Thyme greatly enhances meats, soups and casseroles. It’s become a staple for me, like bay leaves, and an easy way to add flavor to many things I cook. The thing is, it doesn’t take much – even the small plastic pack they sell at the grocery store will go bad long before I can use it up. So, I figured out how to freeze thyme and I’m sharing that with you today.
If you haven’t cooked with thyme, I suggest you add it to some chicken soup or a homemade pot pie to get an idea of the flavor. It is also great in a dry rub for meat and is lovely in mashed potatoes. It’s a lively but subtle herb with hints of mint and pine – very versatile.
I typically use small amounts in my cooking, but thyme has health benefits as well, especially when used medicinally. In her classic, Healing Through God’s Pharmacy, famous Austrian herbalist Maria Treben said she was greatly attracted to thyme and used it in a number of ways:
- She recommends thyme tea for respiratory conditions such as whooping cough and bronchial asthma.
- She used thyme baths to soothe overstimulated or depressed children.
- She suggested rubbing thyme tincture into sore muscles and for relief from multiple sclerosis symptoms.
- She liked thyme syrup to treat colds.
- I drank thyme tea toward the end of my pregnancy after reading in her book and elsewhere that it could help speed birthing
I also read about thyme in Andrew Chevallier’s Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine (one of my favorite reference books). Chevallier links thyme’s healing properties back to its key constituents: thymol & carvacrol volatile oils (strongly antiseptic), flavonoids and phenolic acids.
He calls thyme an effective tonic for the immune system and lists many ailments that might benefit with its use (colds & flu, earache, fungal infections, congestion, general vitality, mild asthma, muscle aches, bites and stings, muscle spasms, stomach ulcers, intestinal worms…)
Long story short – thyme is good! Now on to the point of this blog post.
HOW TO FREEZE THYME
- Keeping the leaves on the stems, gently wash your thyme
- Gently pat it dry (it doesn’t have to be bone dry) with a tea towel or paper towel.
- Loosely wrap it in a paper towel and place it in a plastic freezer bag.
- Use as you would fresh thyme – it can last for a long time (up to a year or more!)
Do you frequently use thyme in your cooking? How?