Friday Feast: Thyme & Olive Oil or “Zait and Zaatar”

Bread, Healthy Living, Recipe, Spice, Vegetarian
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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. The thyme was dried and mashed so it easily stuck to the olive oil for dipping. It makes for a very filling and healthy meal. 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. In ancient times, thyme was used to give off an excellent aroma to the house. So say goodbye to many of those expensive air fresheners :-)

In terms of health, it has been used for centuries for the flu or common cold. It is an expectorant, which makes coughs more productive and helps clear out your lungs so you can feel better quicker. 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 fight certain cancers and it may “make you smarter”.

Try the Zait and Zaatar and let Suzy Eats know what you think. It is a very healthy, inexpensive meal :-)


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10 Responses to “Friday Feast: Thyme & Olive Oil or “Zait and Zaatar””

  1. MomNo Gravatar Says:

    This makes a great breakfast meal or any time of the day snacks. My grand daughters love dipping pita bread with zait and zataar. I love watching them eat it. I also spread “labanh ” known as yogurt cheese and sprinkle zataar on it in a pita wrap. Brings back childhood memories. Thanks for a great post.

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  2. Noah BurfordNo Gravatar Says:

    I had no idea.. Very cool blog.. That “Zait and Zataar” Sounds super tasty!! I have always noticed that when I travel to other countries.. I eat lots of breads etc.. and I always lose weight..I finally realized it is because it is organic food.

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  3. Suzy EatsNo Gravatar Says:

    @ Noah. Thanks for stopping by Noah! I am sure you would love zait and zataar!
    @ Mom. I LOVE labna. Thanks for the tip with sprinkling zataar on it as well. sounds so yummy!

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  4. cakewhizNo Gravatar Says:

    I lived in the middle east for a little while so i got aquainted with many of their dishes including zaatar. It is yumm-oooo!

    There is also another bread recipe (I don’t know what it’s called) but it had some sort of a yoghurt spread with honey… any idea what it was called? I miss that
    and :( I used to always get that when I got zaatar.

    PS: I will be emailing you everything tomorroow :)

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  5. Karen PeekNo Gravatar Says:

    Suzy,
    I just found your website and have really enjoyed checking it out. It’s a very informative blog. I’m putting together recipes for my next cookbook, and I’d like to create more authentic Mediterranean recipes. What are the main herbs and spices that you use in your Mediterranean cooking?

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  6. Suzy EatsNo Gravatar Says:

    @cakewhiz. can’t wait to get your email :) I do not know the name of that dish with yogurt and honey…sounds very yummy though!!

    @karen. thanks for looking at my site. The main spices/herbs I use are garlic, lemon, olive oil, cumin, thyme, rosewater, tumeric, allspice…..there are many more :-)

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  7. Karen PeekNo Gravatar Says:

    Thank you for getting back to me on the spices. Looking forward to using them in recipes I create. Thanks again.

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  8. GraceNo Gravatar Says:

    Hi, I grew up in Lebanon and I remember mom feeding me a Zaatar w Zeit pita wrap on quizzes days, she always said that it would strengthen my memory…I did my research and now feed it to my kids. It is very beneficial to the brain cells, is an antioxidant, and loaded with nutrients! Thank u
    for drawing the attention to Thyme!

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    Suzy EatsNo Gravatar Reply:

    Thanks for stopping by Grace!

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  9. Martin RastallNo Gravatar Says:

    Great info on thyme – thanks!

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