Homemade Buckwheat Honey Mustard (gluten free)

I love mustard, and have wanted to try making my own. I didn't eat mustard for a long time because of the ACD diet, and now I'm only eating commercial varieties made with apple cider vinegar. Eden Organics makes one, and oddly enough, the Roundy's store brand here in the Midwest also makes an organic ACV mustard that is pretty great. I have a recipe that uses whey and ground dry mustard from Nourishing Traditions that I'd like to try (especially since I now have a bunch of whey strained from my raw goat milk yogurt). But over the weekend, I came across a homemade mustard recipe on the fiercely awesome local food website Simple, Good, and Tasty, and couldn't resist trying it, especially after seeing their suggestion for honey mustard.

Why, you ask? Because I have a new jar of delicious local honey burning a hole in my apron pocket. This was the first honey I'd purchased in about a year and half, and I am thrilled that my body can finally handle a little bit of honey here and there. So, when I was at the farmer's market last week, I stopped at the Ames Farm honey tent, and participated in a little honey lovefest. Ames Farm is a local Minnesota honey producer, with over 300 hives across our great state. Their honeys are all single source, all raw, all amazing, and are my absolute favorite honeys on the planet. In addition to honeys like Dutch Clover, Basswood, and Thistle, they have a lot of unusual honeys varieties, like Melon Flower, Wild Bergamont, Milkweed, and Boneset, to name a few. Each single source honey has its own unique flavor, and each jar comes labeled with a hive number that you can track on their website to find the exact geographical source of your jar of honey. Depending on the year and the season, they have more or less of certain varieties, a true reflection of what bounty nature has to offer. I've been spoiled the last 5 years having access to so many amazing varieties; I've been totally ruined on most commercially produced honeys. The best part is visiting their booth at the market, because you can sample just about everything.

While I really love all those lighter colored honeys, there truly is a special place in my heart for buckwheat honey. Thick and dark, pungeant and unusual, there is something almost primordial about buckwheat honey. It makes me think of the La Brea tar pits, of cooling lava, of oil, of all those dark earthly materials that are rooted in the most basic processes of our ecosystem. Buckwheat honey is like black gold. The great thing about buckwheat honey is that it has such a strong flavor that you don't need much - a little goes a long way. This is especially great for those of us that need to watch our sugar intake! And to top it off, buckwheat honey provides the most antioxidants and is high in iron.

This year, Ames Farm has three varieties of buckwheat honey, all with their own unique flavor. After appreciatively trying all three, I purchased a little jar of the Blue Earth Buckwheat. The flavor really resonated with me, and the cute honey salesman seemed charmed by my wild enthusiasm for their product. What can I say, I'm an eager farmer's market shopper, and have an undeniable attraction to men selling agricultural items from tents and tables.

Okay, so back to the mustard. I decided to take an uncommon approach and use a bit of my buckwheat honey in the mustard recipe instead of a light honey, with some added allspice and turmeric. The result was an awesomely tasty mustard, with a whole lot of punch and just a hint of a dark, mysterious sweetness. The honey balances out the mustard's fire, and the pungent flavor of the buckwheat compliments the turmeric and allspice. I didn't add a lot of honey - only about 2 Tbwp - because I didn't want too much sugar. But if you like a sweeter honey mustard, go hog wild - Simple, Good and Tasty recommends mixing honey and mustard at a 1:1 ratio. Whether you add a little or a lot of honey, it is sure to please. The texture is rustic; it is nubby and grainy, like all those delicious French whole grain mustards. And while the flavor is so complex, the ingredients are remarkably simple. I was really impressed, and honestly, I've tasted a lot of mustards - trying out new mustards used to be one of my little culinary addictions. And let me tell you, this mustard definitely, uh, cuts the mustard.

I know, I know, that was terrible. I promise, the mustard is better than my corny sense of humor. I smeared some of my fresh mustard on a turkey burger, and used a little more mixed with flax oil as a sauce on roasted pattypan squashes and brussels sprouts. It was divine. And better yet, it is wildly, wildly, wildly simple. If you can run a blender, you can make your own mustard. Make it as directed below, or throw your own spin on the recipe - it could handle any number of variations on spices and flavorings. I'd love to try something with dill. Or maybe something with fruit - what about raspberry mustard? And I have this great concept for something I'm calling "mistard" - a miso-mustard fusion. Stay tuned.

Want plain mustard?

No problem! If you prefer to make mustard without the honey, feel free to omit it.  Add spices as desired, or leave plain. Plain mustard with only mustard seeds, water, and vinegar is still totally delicious, and how I make it most of the time.  Tell me, what kind of mustard do you like? To find out if you can get Ames Farms honeys in your area, check this list of Ames Farm retail locations.

Homemade Buckwheat Honey Mustard

adapted from Simple, Good, and Tasty

yields about 12 oz

If you want plain mustard, feel free to omit the honey and spices. It is delicious!  

1/2 c whole yellow mustard seeds

3/4 c raw apple cider vinegar (Bragg's or Eden Organics)

1/3 c water + 3 T water

2 T buckwheat honey (or more if you have a sweet tooth, or none at all if you want plain mustard)

1 1/2 tsp turmeric (optional)

1/4 + 1/8 tsp allspice (optional)

1/2 tsp Herbamare or sea salt (optional - I generally do not add it)

Place mustard seeds, apple cider vinegar, and 1/3 c water in a jar. Cover tightly, and let sit on the counter for 2 days.

Dump mustard mixture, honey, turmeric, allspice, sea salt and 1-2 T of water in a blender. Pulse a few times, then mix until it reaches desired consistency. Add additional 1 T of water if needed, and adjust seasonings to taste.

Store in a well sealed jar in the fridge.