It’s not uncommon for a recipe to ask for a few sprigs of thyme. But what exactly are they?
Thyme is a tough plant that has tiny green leaves and a woody stem, whereas a “sprig” is a single branch of that plant. A sprig of thyme does not have a precise measurement or weight. But a more arbitrary measurement is they are 4 to 5 inches long.
If your recipes also call for thyme and you don’t know how big of a sprig of thyme to use, then let’s dig into the details.
What Does A Sprig Of Thyme Look Like?
Thyme resembles a little bush in appearance. It has long stalks that are woody, and on those stalks are tiny green leaves that run the full length of the stalk.
The leaves are shaped like ovals and they narrow to a point at the very end.
Because of its similarity in look to boxwood but lesser size, thyme is sometimes compared to a miniature version of the bush. This is because thyme grows more compactly than boxwood.
How Do You Measure A Sprig Of Thyme?
If we had to calculate an exact measurement, a sprig of thyme would contain between 14 and 34 teaspoons of the tiny thyme leaves.
It’s important to know that the thyme plant’s stem is far too tough for human consumption. Instead, what you’re pursuing are the leaves.
A sprig can be cut from the plant and the leaves can be removed by holding it from one end and gently rubbing it off with your fingers and thumb.
How Much Dried Thyme Equals A Sprig?
When converted to dry form, one sprig of thyme is equivalent to half a teaspoon. On the other hand, fresh thyme takes up half a cup of dried thyme’s weight.
Also, dry thyme can be substituted for fresh lime with a ratio of 1:1 (1 tbs of dry thyme = 1 tbs of fresh thyme).
Common Substitutes For Thyme
Here are some common substitutes of thyme:
Whether you use fresh or dried oregano, you’ll find that it makes an excellent substitute for thyme.
There is really little distinction between the two flavors given that they are both derived from the mint family of herbs. Oregano can be used in place of thyme in virtually all of the recipes that call for it.
Rosemary is classified as a woody herb, while thyme is only classified as such when it reaches a certain age. Use only the leaves for either (unless steeping or adding to vegetable broth).
You should use a little less rosemary because its flavour is a little stronger.
Since rosemary belongs to the same family as thyme (Lamiaceae) along with oregano, marjoram, and other members, it does share some flavor characteristics with thyme. It tastes very well in soups with broth, as this one with cauliflower and potatoes, but not so much in meals with tomatoes.
Marjoram is another ideal 1:1 alternative because it is quite similar to oregano and is hence very near to thyme.
Both fresh and dried versions are tasty. Because it is a little bit milder than oregano, the terms are frequently interchanged.
Basil is the furthest departure from the other herbs here, yet in certain preparations it makes a great stand-in for thyme.
Tomato-based or Mediterranean meals benefit greatly from the addition of fresh basil; however, dried basil serves no purpose and should be avoided.
Summer savory, often known as savory, is the annual type that is grown more frequently; nonetheless, either summer savory or winter savory can be substituted for thyme in recipes.
It has a spicy flavor, which, depending on the recipe, may cause your finished product to also have a spicy aftertaste.
6. Herbs de Provence
A dried spice mixture is called herbs de Provence. This is somewhat of a substitution, but kind of not, since thyme is typically listed among the first few ingredients.
The majority of the other plants on this list are also commonly included, with lavender being an exception.
Instead of more Italian or Mediterranean recipes, choose French or Northern European ones for this one. You may substitute this in dishes like lentil and potato stew or roasted vegetable pie.
Final Words on How Much a Sprig of Thyme Is
Thyme, when used with thought and care, may transform a regular meal into a gourmet experience. There are a lot of different fresh herbs which can be a great substitute of thyme.
Many of them look really pretty on the plate, and they taste good whether they are raw or cooked.