Homemade Mustard.. It Makes a Difference


Handful of Mustard Seeds

There's this little condiment, often ignored these days, known as mustard, and there isn't another one on Earth that is more diet friendly.  Did you know that it is easy to make mustard at home?  The process is simple, but some patience is very important, as this condiment requires aging.  The results, however, can be stellar and unexpected. 

Plain old yellow mustard from the grocery may work fine, but it doesn't hold a candle to the homemade stuff.  It is spicier, more fragrant, and more potent.  It does something to recipes that yellow mustard just doesn't. Homemade mustard preparation is simple, but does require a special piece of equipment.  However, if cooking is really important to your process, there should be one in the house already, and that is... a coffee grinder.  Not one that is used for coffee, but one that is used for spices. 

Large bags of brown mustard seed are available at Indian and Arabic groceries, and anywhere that bulk herbs are sold.  You toast these in a 300-degree oven for about 10 minutes, then take them out and allow the toasted seeds to cool.  Set the grinder to “fine”, and grind the mustard seed.  Pour the powdered mustard into a bowl.  When there's enough there, add apple cider vinegar to make the consistency of thick pancake-like batter. Optional, at this point, is the amount of sweetener and which type you choose to use. 

Sugar, honey, agave nectar, or Splenda-like products can be added in just enough quantity to cut the acidity of the vinegar. Be advised that the mustard will be very bitter at this point.  Also optional is the addition of other spices such as ground ginger, cinnamon, or fennel.  Cinnamon in particular makes mustard into a complex and delicious condiment, and also makes this mixture into “red mustard”, which should give a hint as to the quantity that should be added.  The end results should be packed into glass jars, sealed, and allowed to rest for 2 months. 

After aging, mustard made in this way is spicy and aromatic, and makes an excellent addition to recipes as well as a condiment to traditional foods.  Salad dressings made with homemade mustard are superlative.  Enjoy.

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