Most mustard is made from either white (or yellow) mustard plant, Brassicahirta. Its spicier cousin is the brown mustard, Brassicajuncea. We use a combination of the two here. There is also black mustard (the spiciest of the bunch), but it is difficult to grow and is not very commonly found in the U.S.
The word mustard derives from Latin for mustum (fermented wine) + ardens (hot seeds).
Water revives the enzymes from dried/powdered mustard, and will create the pungency that mustard is known for. Interestingly, temperature affects the pungency too. Use cold water for a hotter mustard, and warm water for a more mellow mustard.
Conversely, acids slow this enzymatic process. So you can get mustard to a flavor you want (wait a few minutes or a few hours), then add brine/acid to “lock it in” by adding an acid, (brine or vinegar).
Turmeric is what makes mustard yellow (not just by using “yellow” mustard) and is common in store-bought varieties.
Hot sauce can take anywhere from a few weeks to 4 to 6 months to ferment. I tend to let mine go on the longer side. My most recent batch was a four-month ferment.
Keep it simple with a single pepper type, or use a variety of (similar colored) peppers with differing levels of heat and flavors. If you use a mix of red and green peppers, you will wind up with a grayish-brown product. Not very visually pleasing, but it will likely still taste delicious!
I initially made fermented corn as a way to create a lactobacillus-rich neutral flavored brine I could use to inoculate other dishes (like legumes).
This recipe uses a 5% brine (by weight). You could go as low as 3% brine because it is a short (less than a week) ferment.
Fermented corn has a sweet and sour taste. Simple as can be to make, now I keep a jar of fermented corn on hand all the time. It’s great to sprinkle a few tablespoons over some greens, into a salad, or mixed in with your favorite guacamole recipe!
Dissolve salt into water in a pint or quart sized mason jar.
Add kernels to jar.
Cover container with a tea towel or clean dishcloth to keep dust and flies out, and secure with twist ties or a rubber band. OR if using small batch fermentation kit, apply the fermentation lid per the instructions.
Ferment 3 to 6 days (until you see it bubbling and has a sour aroma and taste).
If there is any surface yeast or mold, skim it with a spoon or a paper towel. Stir the contents of the jar.
Remove airlock lid and replace with metal lid.
Store in refrigerator. Keeps in brine for up to 2 months.
Homemade condiments like fermented ketchup provide another way to take in probiotics, while at the same time eliminating another High-Fructose Corn Syrup-laden food from your diet. They are also a great way to sneak probiotics (good bacteria!) into your kids’ meals.
Bonus points if you make your own paste from fresh tomatoes. If you just don’t have the wherewithal or time to paste your own tomatoes (and it IS a long process!), it would be okay to use organic canned tomato paste. We won’t tell! 😉
10 lbs. fresh San Marzano or other pasting variety tomatoes OR four 6 oz. (170g each) cans of organic tomato paste, totaling 24 oz/700g
¼ cup/60 ml by volume or 3 oz/85g by weight honey
2-3 garlic cloves
6 fl. oz (180ml) olive or pickle brine, apple cider vinegar or very ripe kombucha (acidic liquid)
2 teaspoons/10ml sea salt
1 teaspoon/5ml clove, ground
2 teaspoons/10ml allspice, ground
Make Paste (from scratch)
Wash and remove stems from tomatoes.
Make an "X" shaped slit in the skin of the tomatoes at the stem end.
Boil water in a medium to large stockpot.
A few at a time, drop the tomatoes in for 30-40 seconds. Fish out with a spider or slotted spoon.
Immediately put them in a bowl filled with ice water. Then pinch the tomatoes from the non-slit end. The skins will pop off. Set aside in another bowl. Compost or discard skins.
Cut tomatoes open and squeeze out gel and seeds. (Reserve for another use).
Puree drained tomato flesh in a food processor until mostly smooth (a few lumps is okay).
Pour contents into a slow cooker, and cook for 8-10 hours on low heat, stirring occasionally. During this time, most of the juice should evaporate off, and it will take on a darker color. It won't be as thick as canned tomato paste. You can cook longer if you want a thicker paste.
Let paste cool.
Mix ingredients (Start here if using tomato paste)
Peel and mince garlic finely, or grate using a microplane. Add to mixing bowl
Add paste to a mixing bowl, along with honey. Stir until smooth.
Add acidic liquid, ½ cup of brine or whey and salt, cloves and allspice to bowl.
Stir contents well.
Transfer to a quart mason jar or two pint jars.
Cover tightly and let ferment at room temperature for 3 to 10 days.
When you like the taste, transfer and store in refrigerator. Scrape down sides of jar to reduce chance of mold formation. Lasts at least 6 months.