Making Mustard

Grainy Maple-Tarragon Mustard

Grainy Maple-Tarragon Mustard

Many people I know struggle with dietary choices when it comes to those lovely items of flavor: condiments. Pre-made condiments often include a lot of extra ingredients, preservatives and additives which, if you are mindful of what enters your body, can make adding flavor to your meals challenging.

When I started digging into condiments, one of the things that excited me the most is how utterly simple making them yourself can be. And, I’ve found they taste simply divine in their fresh, homemade form.

Let’s start with MUSTARD.

Mustard is such a simple condiment to make, you really don’t have to do anything at all and what’s fun is that you can get super creative with flavor combinations. The one in this photo is Tarragon-Maple, but I’ve made a Chinese 5-Spice, Herbs de Provence, Honey and other flavors. When you make it yourself, you can also control how spicy and how grainy it is.

Mustard Basics:

#1: Seeds: You can get Brown, Black or White (sometimes called Yellow) seeds. The darker seeds are hotter and more pungent. The lighter seeds are milder. You can also mix and match different kinds, so play with that!

#2: Liquid: You need to use COLD liquid. What gives mustard the bite, is a chemical reaction in the seeds from cold water. Heat actually damages this reaction. So, you can actually adjust the spiciness of your mustard by adjusting between cold and warm water.

#3: Acid: The acid is what actually halts the chemical reaction. This is important because if the chemical reaction goes too long, your mustard will lose its flavor. The acid (lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, for example) is what halts the process and keeps the flavor at that intensity.

#4: Grain: There are a zillion different recipes out there, some grind the seeds (either before or after soaking), some only use powders, some use a combination. You get to decide. The recipe I am going to give you is for a grainy mustard.


1/2 cup mustard seeds (dark, brown or light or combo)
1/3 cup water
Juice of 1 whole lemon or 1/4c of vinegar
Herbs or Seasonings (this can be your choice - a single herb, or herbal mix or spice mix — have fun!)
pinch of salt
Minimum 1 TBSP sweetener - Honey or Real Maple preferred. (if using liquid stevia — 1/8 tsp)

  • Soak seeds in water for at least 3-5 hours – IMPORTANT: container should be open topped and glass or ceramic NO metal bowls

  • Add lemon juice or vinegar and soak longer (from an hour up to overnight)

  • Put seeds in blender (or use an immersion blender) with remaining ingredients if you want it smoother OR just mix the other ingredients into the seeds if you want it grainy. You can also add mustard powder for a smoother texture.

  • Store in a sealed jar and let it sit at least 24 hours or longer before you use it.