Mustard comes from the same family as cabbage and broccoli; the “brassica family”. It consists of seeds that are tiny and has a flavor that is brazen and spicy.You can prepare it in sauces or add to food in its natural form, but it’s awesome on hot dogs.
The seeds of mustard are a variety of colors, from off-white to almost black. The flavor concentration levels are parallel to color—the lighter seeds being less spicy than the darker ones. Mustard seeds themselves actually have no gluten in them. Thus, dried ground mustard seeds should be gluten-free. But, this is not always the case. That’s why you should read the label to be sure.
Facilities using gluten can contaminate dried mustard. This is a process known as cross-contamination. The gluten in products can stick to machinery or even travel through air vents. However, some of the larger brands guarantee dry mustard processes in a gluten-free atmosphere.
Mustard comes in a variety of forms—whole, powdered, paste or cracked. It has many health benefits too. What makes some mustard products have gluten in them is the sometimes added grains, such as wheat flour.
In seed form, mustard is completely gluten-free. However, some manufacturers add wheat flower for various purposes to mustard.
Vinegar is another source of gluten added to mustard. This is because vinegar contains rice, corn, wheat, and other grains containing gluten. Obviously, if there are any gluten elements within a product, it is not gluten-free. So, if you buy a mustard product, check the ingredients. If it has vinegar in it, it most likely is not gluten-free.
The Different Kinds of Mustard
Did you know there are three different varieties of mustard? There is the hot dog favorite–yellow mustard or yellowish-white mustard. This is a favorite choice for the preparation of food dye or pickles. Next, there is black mustard. This mustard has a strong, spicy flavoring. It is a bit more costly and fancier than other mustards.
Then there is mustard that is common within Asia and India: brown mustard. This mustard has a flavor that is between the yellow and black mustard types.
Whenever you purchase any of these mustards, always check the ingredients list on the product label. If any products contain vinegar or other gluten elements, then it is not gluten-free.
Gluten-Free Mustard Brands
There are several brands of gluten-free mustard available in the United States. Such as:
- Boar’s Head
- Annie’s Naturals
But, you also have the option of going completely natural and grow your own crop of mustard. You will have to do the harvesting and grinding yourself though. When you choose this alternative, you have a 100% guarantee of a gluten-free product that can be added to food.
Grinding your own seeds is a healthier alternative to purchasing dried mustard. Buy the seeds from a gourmet retailer and do some testing of your own to see what you prefer. The best way to buy gluten-free seeds is in a sealed container. This guarantees no cross-contamination has occurred and that gluten is not present in the product.
Health benefits of mustard
Including mustard in your daily diet has a number of health advantages. These advantages include:
- Cure for inflammation
- Has a reduction in swelling to the ears
- Excellent for the healing of tissue
- Great to use for the care of hair and skin
Besides excellent healing and health benefits, there are only five calories per teaspoon. Mustard is also an excellent source of Vitamin A, and contains the following nutrients: Omega-3, selenium, phosphorus, fatty acid, magnesium, and calcium.
Proven to be a healthy way to spice up your diet, mustard is low in carbohydrates, fat, and calories. It’s harmless to most diets, even gluten-free ones as long you it hasn’t had any added.
Always ensure you read the label on a mustard container. If you have severe gluten issues, avoid it if it contains vinegar. But, in most cases, the amount of gluten is so minute that it will not affect you.