Thursday, May 22, 2014


So, I just made yogurt, and now I have whey.  I could pour it down the drain, but if it can be useful, and it is now free, I want to use it rather than toss it.  Most of this post has been liberated from Tiffany at  She has a list sufficient that anyone should be able to find a use which works for them.


Two big reasons:
#1 – It’s healthy.  Please refer to the above list of 10 vitamins and minerals for details.
#2 – It’s cheap.  Like, WAY cheap!  As in, it doesn’t cost a dime!

There’s an assumption that if you’re making whey, your original goal was to make something else instead.  Whether that be yogurt or kefir or cheese – you were making something other than whey.  Therefore, the whey is like a bonus food and free.

There’s a big list below of things you can do with whey, but here’s the best part:  When you use whey, you’re replacing something else that cost money.  That could be lemon juice, vinegar, milk or even just plain water.  When you use whey instead, you’re saving money.

In summary, whey = free healthy food.  Awesome!  Curious what amazing uses this super-frugal-healthy food can do?


  1. Soak grains.  We soak our oatmeal and weekly batches of bread, and now we’ll be doing it with whey.  It costs me money to make those (or buy lemon juice), and whey is free!
  2. Soak beans.  Just like grains, your digestive system benefits from beans being soaked before cooking.  Swap your acid medium with whey, or feel free to add more!
  3. Soak nuts.  For the same reasons above.
  4. Make pizza dough.  Add a sourdough-ish tang to your dough for a delicious pie.
  5. Make bread.  My latest batch of soaked bread (above) was made with 100% whey as the liquid and it was SO good!  I’ve heard it helps with whole grains and creating a better texture and my taste buds confirmed this one!
  6. Stick it in smoothies.  Whey is naturally high in protein (almost 2g in one cup!) and it’s my first choice for extra liquid when making protein smoothies   
  7. Condition your face.  The cultures in whey are acidic, so toss some on a cotton ball and use it as a toner.
  8. Condition your body.  Up the anty and add one cup of whey to your bath for an all-over-the-body skin toner.
  9. Make a face mask.  Combined with soothing raw honey, your skin will be loving you!  
  10. Condition hair.  If you’re washing with baking soda, a diluted whey rinse will work just as well as the diluted vinegar rinse!
  11. Pet food.  Instead of throwing the extra nutrients down the drain, add them to pet food for some extra vitamins!
  12. Dog treats.
  13. Water the plants.  Speaking of saving on water, add a bit of this to your watering can.  Be sure to use sweet whey though and not acid whey since it might damage the nutrients in the soil so you should definitely dilute it first.  Balance the garden’s pH.  If watering the plants is out of the question, consider balancing the pH levels of peas, cucumbers and squash by spraying some on just the leaves – the whey will kill the mold that grows!  (Again, sweet whey only.)
  14. Lower the garden’s pH.  Blueberries, roses and tomatoes like acidic soil and whey will help you achieve just that.
  15. Add it to compost.  A great outdoors spot if you don’t feel comfortable adding it to your garden, or don’t have one to add it to!
  16. Substitute for buttermilk.  Biscuits, dressings or pancakes?  Yep, use whey!
  17. Substitute for milk.  Instead of milk, use whey to make creamy cheese sauce that will get baked and cheese-ified.
  18. Make rice.  Although the heat will kill some of the live enzymes, you’ll still retain the nutrients since rice absorbs all the liquid.
  19. Make risotto.  A combination between the previous two, you’re cooking rice and making it creamy at the same time.  Might as well add some nutrition too!
  20. Make chicken stock.  Substitute not just for the apple cider vinegar, but for some of the water too!  Trade up to half of the water (or more, depending on your taste preference) for whey and come out the other side with a richer, more flavorful stock.
  21. Thicken gravy.  Chances are if you’re making gravy, it’s topping something unhealthy.  Boost the nutrition with some whey.
  22. Substitute for orange juice.  Whey is about as acidic as orange juice, so if you’re using the juice in smoothies or in baking (like yummy scones or in a quick bread), try swapping for whey instead.
  23. Substitute for lemon juice.  Whey tastes much like lemon juice, so it makes a great substitution in recipes or cocktails…
  24. Make a cocktail.  Half whey and half juice, plus sweeten to taste with honey or stevia and you’ve got yourself a deliciously healthy drink!
  25. Use in salad dressing.  Instead of a vinaigrette with lemon juice, how about a vinaigrette with whey?
  26. Tenderize meat.  Swap why for any vinegar in a traditional meat marinade.  Mind that whey will add tang, so adjust seasonings accordingly.
  27. Make lemonade.  Seriously.  
  28. Make ginger ale.
  29. Make cream cheese. 

  30. Make soda.  Again, seriously!  There’s a Swiss drink called Rivella that’s 10% whey.  Way cool!
  31. Make caramel.  Add a bit of salt with a touch of sugar and voila - instant caramel!
  32. Use it as a brine.  Feta cheese will keep longer in whey, and you can use it when brining your Turkey in November too!
  33. Make ricotta cheese.  The word “ricotta” means cooked twice, which is what ends up happening to the whey when you make this cheese.  Recipe at end of post.
  34. When all else fails – freeze it.  If you’ve got too much and you’re unsure what to do with it, freeze it in ice cubes for later!

                    Heating whey will kill the enzymes and probiotic bacteria (if there’s any left in the whey, rather than the dairy), but the vitamins/minerals/protein are all still valid after heating. :)

                    Whey will last awhile in the fridge, at least a good week. Mixing it right in is definitely one way to eat it, but if you’re looking to save it long term, pour into a jar and at the end of the week, freeze in cubes. Since we make bread weekly, that’s when it gets used up most. However if I didn’t make it regularly, I’d definitely freeze b/c the amazing soft bread is worth it!

                    These posts are from Jill at

                    1. Substitute whey in any baking recipe that calls for water (or even milk). I love making fresh breads and rolls with my leftover whey. Also try it in cornbread, pancakes, waffles, muffins, biscuits, homemade tortillas, and more!

                    2. Use whey to lacto-ferment vegetables, condiments, sauerkraut, chutneys, jams, etc. This is an area that I have yet to really explore, but it’s on my list! This is an incredibly healthful form of preservation that increases the nutritional value of so many things. Check out the book Nourishing Traditions  for more info on this topic. (It is important to use raw whey when you lacto-ferment– not acid whey or cooked whey.)
                    4. Freeze it for later. If you anticipate a milk-less time of year (perhaps when your animals are dried up), you can easily freeze whey for future use. Try putting it in ice cube trays or small cups to make the proper portion sizes. Then pop out the frozen cubes and store in a baggie.
                    5. Use whey to cook pastas, potatoes, oatmeal, or rice. Boiling the whey will cause it to lose its raw properties. However, if you feel like you are drowning in whey, this is a wonderful way to use it up and add extra flavor to the foods.
                    6. Add whey to soups and stews. Perhaps it could take the place of some of your homemade stock or broth?
                    7. Add whey to homemade fruit smoothies or milkshakes. The sky is the limit when it comes to all the flavor combos you can make.
                    8. Use whey as a hair product. Now, I personally have not yet tried this, so proceed with caution! But I have seen several sources recommend it as a shampoo substitute, hair rinse, or even as hair gel! Not sure if I’ll be trying this, but let me know if YOU do!
                    9. Feed it to the dogs. Our dogs love it when I pour a little whey on their dry food and make it into a cereal. It’s quite the treat.
                    10. Make whey lemonade. I’ve seen several delicious-sounding recipes for lemonade-type drinks using whey. It’s on my list of things to try this summer!
                    11. Use whey to water your plants. Dilute it with a good amount of water (straight whey will “burn” your plants- I learned this the hard way…) and pour on your veggies or flowers (avoid using acid whey here). Think how much your container garden would love that!
                    12. Feed extra whey to the farm critters.
                    13. Make ricotta. Ricotta cheese is traditionally made from whey. And it’s so incredibly easy! However, this will require the whey to be heated to 200 degrees, so all the raw enzymes will be lost.. I like to make ricotta when I have gallons of extra whey, and then I freeze it for making lasagna later.
                    14. Pour it in your compost bin. I have yet to do this, but it would be better than dumping it down the drain.
                    15. Make a whey marinade. Add your favorite spices and seasonings (garlic, salt, pepper, maybe some rosemary…Yum!) to the whey and allow it to marinate your steaks, chicken, fish, or pork chops. The enzymes in the whey help to break down the meat and add flavor.
                    16. Use whey to stretch your mozzarella. If you’ve ever made mozzarella before, you know that you must stretch the curds at the end of the process. Some recipes say to use the microwave (no thanks!), while others use a pot of hot, salted water. I always use hot whey to stretch my curds–I think it adds more flavor, plus it’s just sitting there anyway.

                    So this is the Whey cool information I gathered for you.

                    Have a WHEYTASTIC Thrifty Happy Day, Pegi

                    Cream Cheese

                    Let buttermilk sit at room temperature for 1-2 days until the milk has visibly separated from the whey.  Strain the whey from the curds using a fine mesh strainer  and you have homemade cream cheese.

                    Traditional Ricotta Cheese  from  a link found on Tiffany at
                    Traditional ricotta cheese is made using whey left over from cheesemaking. While not as sweet or creamy as ricotta made using whole milk, traditional ricotta is a wonderful way to utilize whey that might normally be discarded.
                    Make sure you have the following items before you start
                    A large pot, over 12 quarts (if metal, be sure it's non-reactive such as stainless steel)
                    A wooden spoon
                    Colander and coffee filter

                    Traditional Ricotta Cheese
                    If using both whey and milk, combine the two. Using milk isn't necessary but does substantially increase yield.

                    Gently heat
                    2 gallons fresh whey (use within a few hours of straining)
                    1 gallon milk, optional (do not use UHT/UP milk)
                    to 195°F. Consider using a double boiler to prevent scorching. Stir constantly and watch the temperature carefully. While it isn't necessary to be exact, be careful not to let the whey boil as it boils over easily and is very messy.  Remove the whey from the heat and stir in
                    ½ cup distilled white vinegar
                    The whey will begin to curdle and some of the curd will rise to the top.  Place a colander in the sink and place a coffee filter (metal reusable filters are best for this) in the colander. Gently pour or spoon the mixture into the coffee filter and allow the whey to drain away. Be careful as much of the curd will likely settle on the bottom of the pot.  Once the pot is empty, allow the ricotta to continue to drain. 1 hour is generally sufficient for a soft ricotta. 6+ hours may be needed for a firmer ricotta.
                    Mix the ricotta with
                    Cheese salt or non-iodized salt
                    to taste.

                    Consider using a ricotta basket and storage container so any remaining whey can drain and keep the cheese from becoming soggy while the ricotta is stored in the refrigerator.
                    Store the ricotta in the refrigerator and use within one week.

                    Generally makes 6-8oz with only 2 gallons of whey (no added milk) but the yield can vary with each batch.

                    Monday, May 19, 2014

                    Yogurt for my Hubby

                    My dear husband loves yogurt.  He will eat 4-6 of the little 6oz containers a day.  When I started this new Thrifty thing in my home, I was looking at blogs, and Karrie at is my favorite.  I noticed a post on making Greek yogurt ( ).  So I decided to give it a try.  

                    Because I was having a crazy busy day, I tried to speed up the process, and in turn had a slight scorch taste in the yogurt.   It was still good, and my hubby ate it all up.  The NEXT day as I was checking facebook, I noticed a post from my friend/cousin Gina.  She had made her yogurt in a crock-pot (  So I just kinda worked out a recipe that works for me, combining the two.  You will need a heavy duty crock-pot about 6 quarts, preferably with the inside removable from the heating element, and a bath towel.

                    In my nice heavy duty crock-pot, I poured 1 gallon of milk, heating it for 2-2½ hours on high.  You need to remember to remove ½-1 cup or so of milk from the gallon, (or do like I do, and swipe the milk out of your frig later because you forgot).  Turn on oven light and remove the yogurt starter from the frig.

                    After your milk has heated, remove the crock-pot from heating element, and place on the counter to cool.  Since I am me, I put 4 veggie cans (of the same size) on my counter and placed the crock on them.  I also had a small fan on my counter, so it was blowing on the crock. I don’t know if this makes any difference or not, but I felt better about using it. Combine the yogurt starter and the reserved milk.  Whisk until smooth. After the milk has cooled to 100°, remove any skim on the milk.  If you want to add some instant powdered milk at this point, it will make the yogurt a bit thicker.  I add 1-2 cups of powdered milk. Now  add the starter mixture, and  immediately put the lid on the crock, wrap in the heavy towel, and place in your oven.  Do not turn the oven on, the only heat used is the heat of the oven light.  Leave in oven, with light on, overnight or about 16 hours. .

                    Congratulations, you have yogurt. Don’t forget to save about ½ cup of yogurt to use as your next starter. Now comes part of the fun.  


                    To make Greek yogurt you will need a colander, a bowl to fit underneath with a large area for the whey to drain, and some cheesecloth or a kitchen tea towel.  I always wet the cheesecloth first, place it in the colander over the bowl and pour a bunch of your raw yogurt onto the cheesecloth.  Pour the yogurt into the cheesecloth.  You will be so surprised how much whey comes out of the yogurt.  Just watch the yogurt until you get it to your favored consistency. I like honey & vanilla for my Greek yogurt.

                    To make flavored yogurt, add flavoring.  My husband likes two types of yogurt, Strawberry-banana & Pina Colada.  

                    I pull off the amount I want to flavor into a mixing bowl.  Then I add some flavor extracts and fruit bits.  When strawberries are on sale, I will buy some, puree them, and freeze them in ½ cup containers (or muffin pan).  So I add some puree, strawberry jam, extracts, and sweetener. In my opinion,  Banana bits need to be added right before consumption.  For the other, I add some crushed pineapple, coconut shreds (I found some frozen ones which have not been dried), extracts, and sweetener.  Adding the pineapple juice makes it quite thin, so I will add some firm greek yogurt I started earlier in the day.  This brings it back to a normal consistency.  (Pineapple extract was hard to find, but I ordered some off Amazon.)

                    Here are my results. Off one batch of yogurt I had 4 pints of each of the two flavors, and some Greek yogurt for me, about 1 pint or so. Even buying the yogurts in quarts, Greek yogurts range from about $5-$4 per quart. Just for the 8 pints I made that would be at least $16. I got the milk for $2.40. If this is a first batch, the plain Greek Yogurt will cost another 75 cents. That would be $3.15 for a batch. Huge money saver.

                    There are many uses for whey, I just haven’t played with them yet. This is a link I found after typing whey into the search bar on Pintrest.
                    I did pull up a post for most of the whey uses I found, for your enjoyment.

                    Happy CREAMY Thrifty Day, Pegi

                    Homemade Greek Yogurt

                    In a large crockpot heat
                    1 gallon of milk, remove ½ cup of milk
                    for at least 2 hours on high.  Remove your crock pot from heating element, and let the milk cool to 100°.  In a small bowl, combine the reserved milk with
                    yogurt starter (a plain, active live culture Greek yogurt from store, or some of your last batch)
                    Set aside.  When the yogurt has cooled to 100°(remove any milk skim which might have formed). to make your yogurt thicker, you can add
                    1-2 cups instant powdered milk
                    and whisk the milks until smooth.  Add and whisk in the starter mixture.  Immediately put the lid on the crock, wrap in a heavy towel, and place in your oven.  Oven light is on, this is the only heat used. Leave in oven about 16 hours.  The next day, you will have some raw yogurt.  Remove ½ cup of yogurt and place it in an airtight container and store in your refrigerator until you make your next batch.

                    To make a Greek yogurt, find a colander and a bowl to fit underneath.  Cut a square of cheesecloth to fit inside the bowl with at least corners sticking out (I like to wet and squeeze the cheesecloth first).  Pour the raw yogurt into the colander, and leave it there for a while to drip out the whey.

                    To flavor, use extracts, fruit bits, jam, & sweetener.  Make what you enjoy, or your husband enjoys.

                    Brown Sugar

                    When I was first married, I went to a Tupperware party. Where I learned how to make brown sugar, beef jerky, and that Tupperware was way out of my price range.

                    I have used this brown sugar recipe all of my married life.  Sometimes I make it up, but usually it is mixed right into the recipe.  In almost 35 years of being married, I have purchased maybe 25#s of Brown Sugar.

                    1 cup white sugar + 2 Tbs molasses = 1 cup brown sugar

                    When I make cookies calling for 1 cup each brown & white sugar, I simply put 2 cups of white sugar into the recipe and 2 Tbs of molasses.  I quit measuring the molasses about 5 years into it.  After a while, you will be good at measuring it too.

                    A bottle of molasses on your pantry shelf lasts much longer than 20#s of brown sugar.

                    Happy SWEET Thrifty day, Pegi

                    Sunday, May 11, 2014

                    Mother's Day

                    Today is Mother's Day.   My thanks to my mom for the things she taught me.  I am a suprise baby.   I wish I had known her in her youth. Some times I will ask my older siblings what mom was like in this instance or that.   My earliest memories of her are in her mid forties. She saved everything,  and some of it found other purposes. 

                    I only knew one set of grandparents, my mom's parents.   We were at an Elks Lodge Mother's Day dinner once and they announced my grandmother as the oldest mom there,  and she refused to walk up and accept it.  My grandparents were married in 1914 and survived the great depression.  I remember her peeling apples in one long peel slinking down into the little colander she kept at the corner of her sink.   All food scraps went into a compost bin.   Nothing went to waste.  She had a lovely bed of nasturtiums, and when ever I see them,  I think of her.

                    My yogurt turned out wonderful.  I need to do a bit more research there before I post.

                    This process of gaining more control of my life and surroundings has been great. I have been learning all that I can.   The best site I have found so far is ""  I also like ""

                    Years ago someone turned me onto ""  This is a wonderful place for anyone who has a bit too much clutter & chaos in their lives.   So far the cleaning products I have purchased from her have been wonderful.  She has some thoughts that would be of benefit to anyone listening.  I still have clutter,  but it is far less,  and much more in control.

                    My thanks to all the women out there who helped me be who I am.

                    Happy Thrifty Day, Pegi

                    Friday, May 9, 2014

                    Getting Started

                    I have made some big changes in my life here in May.  My dear hubby (dh) and I have been struggling to over come some debt.  He has been Amazing, and I have been pretty good.  I was looking at the financial situation on May first, and realized we were all most over the hump.

                    I have so been wanting to leave my employment but we needed that bit of extra income to work on the debt.  I told my husband how bad I just wanted to come home to be a wife, mom, and Grandma again.  So on May Day when I crunched those numbers, I realized I COULD come home.

                    Dh and I are determined to live thrifty like we did in the 80s, as young married couple with all four of our children, born in the same decade.

                    Dh did know he was lucky to marry a girl (I was a girl when we married) who knew some cooking.   My mom worked 3 evenings a week, so from the time I was 11 until I was 19, I fixed dinner for my dad & grandpa 3 nights a week.  

                    When we moved to his home state of Idaho,  we were within 20 miles of his parents and most of his brothers, and their families.  I missed my family very much,  so I would go once or twice during the week to his parents farm. (Yep, potatoes.)  My amazing Mom-in-law (MIL) was busy just about every minute of the day,  six days a week.  Her other 6 sons had married women from the area,  and all those daughters-in-law had mom's near by. I didn't know much, but was so eager to learn, and she was more than willing to teach.  My mom was far away.  On those days during the week at the farm, I learned about canning, some quilting,  and most ways to be a homemaker.

                    Don't get me wrong, my mom had amazing homemaking skills, they just were not as useful in my life. But I do know much about dinner parties, setting up events, & and candle making.
                    We did not have much money in the 80s, and I learned to make things from scraps, or to just make do with items available in my environment.  I can be very determined,  and usually will figure something out.   I learned to bake mostly from scratch because I couldn't afford to have all those yummy foods on our shelf.  At a church luncheon,  I found a great recipe for chicken soup.   I still make that recipe 30 years later.  In that recipe I learned how to make my own noodles.  My kids came to expect homemade noodles,  and even if the rest of the soup was made from scratch, they would fuss about the store bought noodles.

                    Part of living thrifty is using what you have at home before going out to buy something.  One day I inventoried or freezers.  Tossed some nasty stuff and figured out what I had available to use.  Hung the inventory sheet on the deep freezer and told my house to mark when they take things.  This is on a spreadsheet via Google drive, so while in the grocery,  if I am unsure of something, I can look it up on my phone.

                    So,  this is where I am at. I still have a 1 week to go on my job. I am trying to get some organization accomplished at home.  We are trying to use up some of the foods on hand, and we are living thrifty.  Today I made a batch of granola and started some yogurt. I hope the yogurt works out, (It did).  We eat it a lot..

                    Part of my recent energy and determination comes from a health supplement my dh found for us.  Side benefit, I have lost about ten pounds in the last month or so.   This has to be the first time I made some major life changes where a diet was not involved.   I am excited,  and am looking forward to the upcoming months.

                    Happy Thrifty Day, Pegi