Thyme; the main ingredient in Zaatar, is an herb with high levels of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Thyme is also known to help fight respiratory illnesses. It is completely safe for children; as a matter of fact the aroma of thyme oil is used to help children breathe better during colds. Sumac, a less popular herb, known to soothe stomach pain, is also added to the zatar spice blend with sesame seeds, and oregano.
Zaatar is almost always mixed with olive oil; hence the term “zaitouzaatar”.
There is no standard ratio of zaatar to olive oil.
I personally add 1 1/2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil to every 1 tablespoon of zaatar.
This blend is famously used in Manaeesh baked over flatbread, you can also use it as chicken seasoning, in salad dressings, with cheese, as a dip in itself, the list is endless.
Legend had it that zaatar made kids smarter. Growing up we were always told that zaatar was good for the brain.
According to Prevention.com, a recent study showed that a substance in thyme helped strengthen connections between neurons in the brain. Which means there possibly is truth to it after all. 🙂
A simple quick breakfast (with some sandwiches to go) before a long day out:
Pitas stuffed with shredded Colby Jack cheese and a Zatar olive oil mixture. I also added labneh pitas.
And fruits of course: Watermelon pieces and sliced bananas covered in crushed cornflakes.