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 DontWasteTheCrumbs.com. She has a list sufficient that anyone should be able to find a use which works for them.
WHY SHOULD YOU USE WHEY?
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?
34 WHEYS TO USE WHEY
- 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!
- 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!
- Soak nuts. For the same reasons above.
- Make pizza dough. Add a sourdough-ish tang to your dough for a delicious pie.
- 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!
- 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
- Condition your face. The cultures in whey are acidic, so toss some on a cotton ball and use it as a toner.
- Condition your body. Up the anty and add one cup of whey to your bath for an all-over-the-body skin toner.
- Make a face mask. Combined with soothing raw honey, your skin will be loving you!
- Condition hair. If you’re washing with baking soda, a diluted whey rinse will work just as well as the diluted vinegar rinse!
- Pet food. Instead of throwing the extra nutrients down the drain, add them to pet food for some extra vitamins!
- Dog treats.
- 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.)
- Lower the garden’s pH. Blueberries, roses and tomatoes like acidic soil and whey will help you achieve just that.
- 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!
- Substitute for buttermilk. Biscuits, dressings or pancakes? Yep, use whey!
- Substitute for milk. Instead of milk, use whey to make creamy cheese sauce that will get baked and cheese-ified.
- Make rice. Although the heat will kill some of the live enzymes, you’ll still retain the nutrients since rice absorbs all the liquid.
- 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!
- 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.
- Thicken gravy. Chances are if you’re making gravy, it’s topping something unhealthy. Boost the nutrition with some whey.
- 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.
- Substitute for lemon juice. Whey tastes much like lemon juice, so it makes a great substitution in recipes or cocktails…
- 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!
- Use in salad dressing. Instead of a vinaigrette with lemon juice, how about a vinaigrette with whey?
- Tenderize meat. Swap why for any vinegar in a traditional meat marinade. Mind that whey will add tang, so adjust seasonings accordingly.
- Make lemonade. Seriously.
- Make ginger ale.
- Make cream cheese.
- Make soda. Again, seriously! There’s a Swiss drink called Rivella that’s 10% whey. Way cool!
- Make caramel. Add a bit of salt with a touch of sugar and voila - instant caramel!
- Use it as a brine. Feta cheese will keep longer in whey, and you can use it when brining your Turkey in November too!
- 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.
- 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 ThePrairieHomestead.com
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
Traditional Ricotta Cheese from a link found on Tiffany at DontWasteTheCrumbs.com.
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
Ricotta basket and storage Container, optional
Traditional Ricotta Cheese
If using both whey and milk, combine the two. Using milk isn't necessary but does substantially increase yield.
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
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.