Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Agave Mustard

Why should you make your own mustard? Why shouldn’t you? Making mustard is so quick and easy. Once you make mustard you will wonder why you ever spent so much money of those little jars of mustard.

Did you know that mustard is part of the cruciferous family? Not only is mustard lower in fat and calories but also it is also full of phytonutrients that have been shown to have anti-cancer effects. Mustard is also a good source of both selenium and magnesium.

Mustard seeds come in black, brown and white. The black mustard seeds have the most pungent taste, the white mustard seeds are the most mild and are the ones used to make American yellow mustard. Brown mustard seeds have an acrid taste and are the type used to make Dijon mustard. The names of the seeds are misleading since the white mustard seeds are yellow in color, and the brown mustard seeds are a dark yellow.

Many health food stores and natural markets carry whole mustard seeds in large quantities. If you have access to whole seeds at a good price you can grind them yourself in a coffee grinder you only use for spices. Don’t use your regular coffee grinder or your coffee will never taste the same no mater how clean you think the grinder is. I tried this once many years ago and it wasn’t a good idea.

This mustard is a good basic recipe to build upon. Give it a try; you will be surprised how easy it is to make your own mustard.

Agave Mustard
Makes about 4 tablespoons


2 tablespoons of mustard powder (Coleman’s dry mustard)
1 tablespoon of water
½ teaspoon of apple cider vinegar (any vinegar will do)
½ tablespoon of canola oil
1 tablespoon of agave


Mix the mustard, water and vinegar until a smooth thick paste forms. Add the oil and whisk until the oil has been incorporated. Stir the agave into the mustard.

Pour into a sterilized jar and refrigerate until needed.

Mustard is the most fiery 10 minutes after it is made. If you try the mustard early it will remind you of the mustard that you get with egg rolls. The mustard will mellow, as it is stored. It will lose much of its heat after being stored for a month.


This mustard will be very fiery if you taste it right after you made it. Put it in the refrigerator and try it the next day. Alternately, you could try to use much less on your sandwich if you want to eat it right away. You can also add texture to the mustard with a few whole mustard seeds, or green peppercorns. A few coarsely ground black peppercorns would also be nice here also.

There are some things to keep in mind as you make your own mustard. The water activates the enzyme myrosinase, which makes the mustard fiery. To halt the enzyme an acidic liquid is added (vinegar, wine or beer). The more acidic the liquid the more it will reduce the heat, with the vinegar being the most acidic, then the wine, and finally the beer. Complimentary spices to use with mustard are: bay leaf, black pepper, chili, coriander, cumin, dill, fennel, garlic, honey, parsley, tarragon and turmeric.

Making mustard is somewhat addictive if you love mustard the way I do. It is rewarding to take a few ingredients that I always have on hand and make a quick sandwich spread.

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