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Mustard Substitutes: Why Horseradish and Wasabi May Not be Good Substitutes

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Mustard is in more recipes than you might imagine. And there are just so many varieties. Black mustard seeds, white mustard seeds, whole grain mustard, dijon mustard, ground mustard, yellow mustard, honey mustard, brown mustard and the list goes on and on!

But, wait! What if you have a mustard allergy? What mustard substitute can you use?

Before you grab your next Bavarian pretzel, let’s talk about mustard. Keep reading to see what mustard substitutes can be used.

Remember: this post is for informational purposes only and may not be the best fit for you and your personal situation. It shall not be construed as medical advice. The information and education provided here is not intended or implied to supplement or replace professional medical treatment, advice, and/or diagnosis. Always check with your own physician or medical professional before trying or implementing any information read here. For further information please see full Disclaimer.

Mustard Allergy

Spice allergies are relatively common although not talked about often in the United States. Many countries have different labeling requirements for certain spices. We are seeing a gradual increase in mustard allergies (1) in the United States. 

Mustard is a very common allergy in the United Kingdom, India, and Canada. In fact, mustard is considered a priority allergy by Health Canada, which means that it is a food that causes many allergic reactions in Canada.

What are Symptoms of a Mustard Allergy?

See a Board Certified Specialist to find out symptoms of a mustard allergy and to discuss mustard allergies in depth. Food allergy symptoms can vary from person to person but may include:

  • Hives
  • Anaphylaxis
  • Itching or swelling of the lips, tongue, or throat
  • Diarrhea
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Abdominal pain and cramps
  • Nausea and vomiting

Foods to Avoid with a Mustard Allergy

Mustard can be hidden in many products. Like most food allergies, it isn’t just a matter of avoiding obvious sources like mustard seeds, mustard powder, mustard greens,  or prepared varieties of mustards that come in a bottle or jar. 

One should be careful when using things like commercially prepared condiments, gravies, seasoning pacers, salad dressings or vinaigrettes in recipes.

Below are some foods that may contain mustard. This list is not all inclusive.

  • Condiments
  • Canola meal
  • Cold pressed canola or cold pressed rapeseed oil
  • Marinades
  • Vinaigrettes and many types of salad dressings
  • Some brands of pretzels or chips
  • Fish sauce and fish paste
  • Curry
  • Pickles
  • Pesto
  • Gravy
  • Potato, egg, or macaroni salad
  • Chutneys
  • Vegetables with a vinegar base
  • Dehydrated Soups
  • Processed and deli meats
  • Processed meats, especially sausage
  • Soups, sauces, and stock
  • Wings with dry rub or sauces
  • Seasonings, flavorings, spices, and natural flavors

Terms like spices, seasoning, and natural flavors on the food label may include mustard. Always check with the manufacturer if you have any questions about ingredients in a product.

When you eat out, always ask if a dish has mustard in it.

Be sure to read the label every time. Certain brands of mayonnaise, barbecue sauce, or even some types of ketchup may contain mustard.

Let’s take a look at what can be used as a substitute for mustard.

Substitutes for Ground Mustard (Also Known as Dry Mustard)

So, what can you substitute for ground mustard in a recipe? If you have a mustard allergy you may want to consider using turmeric. Ground turmeric root or turmeric powder has an earthly and bitter flavor with a somewhat peppery taste as well.

Be cautious with typical mustard substitutes such as wasabi powder and horseradish powder.

Wasabi powder often contains added mustard and would not be a good substitute for those with a mustard allergy.

Horseradish, mustard, and wasabi are part of the brassicaceae family. Foods within the brassicaceae family may contain similar proteins to mustard seeds making these foods possibly or likely unsafe for someone with a mustard allergy.

Be sure to discuss this with your Board Certified Allergist. When in doubt, don’t eat it. Always carry an epinephrine auto injector with you if you have food allergies.

Mustard Substitutes.  Why Horseradish and wasabi may not be good substitutes.  substitute for dry mustard.  substitute for dijon mustard

Substitutes for Yellow  Mustard

Need a substitute for mustard in egg salad, potato salad, deviled eggs? In other words, what can you replace yellow mustard with? 

There are many recipes online that tell you how to make homemade mustard. Make basic mustard by mixing mustard powder with either water, vinegar or beer. If you have a food allergy, try substituting mustard powder or dry mustard with turmeric powder or ground turmeric root.

Often, American yellow mustard gets its yellow color from turmeric, so turmeric is already a normal component of yellow bottled mustard and therefore part of the normal flavor profile.

You can also use mayonnaise in place of yellow mustard. If you buy a commercial mayonnaise, read the label to make sure it does not contain mustard. You can add some turmeric to the mayonnaise to give it more of a mustard flavor.

Ginger paste can also be substituted for mustard on something like a hot dog.

Dijon Mustard Substitutes 

What can be used in place of Dijon mustard? You may want to make a simple home-made  mustard as outlined above while substituting mustard if you have a mustard allergy. To make the dijon flavor, possibly add some white wine or verjus.

If you like some heat which would be found in a spicy brown or hot mustard you may want to add serrano pepper, cayenne pepper or finely minced jalapeno.

Want a substitute for honey mustard? Follow the above recommendations for yellow mustard using equal parts of the condiment and honey.

Always omit mustard as an ingredient if you have a mustard allergy and are making an imitation type mustard. Be sure to pay attention to all ingredients in recipes.

Final Thoughts

Mustard allergies are on the rise and we are seeing more cases in the United States.

Mustard can be in many commercially prepared products, always read the food label.

Some options for substituting mustard in recipes do exist, even if you have a mustard allergy.

Playing around with different recipe options to see which one is your overall favorite is always a good idea.

So what is your favorite mustard substitute? I’d love to hear. Leave me a comment. Don’t forget to subscribe to my email list to keep in the know.

Last Updated on May 13, 2022 by Amber DeVore, RD, CSSD, CLT

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