ThePaleoList Answers:  Is Mustard Paleo?

Monday saw us tossing out the old guard – Heinz and Hunts – in favor of making our own ketchup. Today our exploration of condiments and sauces continues with mustard.  We get many requests for these type of food items from our readers wanting to add flavor to common fare, if there’s a particular condiment you’d like to see featured on The Paleo List, let us know.  So…is mustard Paleo?

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What is Mustard?

That bright yellow hotdog companion known as mustard comes from the seeds of the mustard plant and is in the same family as spicy horseradish and wasabi.  It can be mildly tangy, or forcefully spicy.  While it is common on sandwiches and hot dogs, it is also a popular way to add a punch of flavor to any dish, including the Paleo variety.

Yellow mustard

There are several big brands of mustard, such as French’s and Grey Poupon. According to French’s website, their Yellow Mustard contains just four ingredients: mustard seeds, turmeric, water, and vinegar.However, the back label includes “spice,” and “natural flavors,” both of which are more than questionable.

Grey Poupon is in a similar boat; it contains just a few ingredients, but it’s made from Kraft so there’s a chance of GMO ingredients and contamination.  If you turn to Annie’s Naturals (who also makes a killer ketchup), you’ll find the following ingredients: Organic Distilled White Vinegar from Corn, Organic Mustard Seed, Organic Turmeric, Organic Paprika, Organic Cloves, Sea Salt.  While it states that the vinegar is from corn, grains can’t survive the distillation process which is why we tend to consider vinegar Paleo-friendly.

Brown Mustards

Beyond standard yellow and Dijon varieties, what about the more powerful brown whole grain mustards (grain signifying the mustard seeds)?  Trader Joe’s brand includes not-so-natural citric acid and white wine.  Fortunately whole-grain varieties that contain just two ingredients – mustard and vinegar – are certainly Paleo.

Is Mustard Paleo?

While we can’t approve all brands, we declare Annie’s Naturals and other whole-grain varieties of this flavorful yellow condiment to be 100% Paleo. Even Robb Wolf supports a dose of mustard here and there.  So is mustard Paleo?  That depends on the brand.

If you’d rather avoid anything in a jar, mix together these ingredients to make your own amazing whole-grain mustard (to go along with your bespoke ketchup):

  • 1 cup mustard seeds
  • ½ cup vinegar
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • (Optional) sea salt & pepper, to taste

Are you struggling with which foods are Paleo?  Do you need help planning some Paleo meals?  Check out this great Paleo cookbook:

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