Whey is the yellowish liquid left over when you make various cultured milk products. There are actually two kinds of whey, and they have different uses.
Sweet whey is the liquid that is produced when making hard cheese like cheddar or most soft cheeses. Sweet whey can also be drained from clabbered raw milk, yogurt, milk kefir, or buttermilk.
Acid whey is the liquid produced from making more acidic cultured dairy products such as paneer, feta, chevrè, or whole milk ricotta.
Uses for Acid Whey
- Soak grain for making breads.
- Feed it to animals. They may like sweet whey better, but whichever kind you feed them, be careful, because it can upset their digestion if they consume too much.
- Use whey on the skin and hair. Some folks claim that whey has excellent toning qualities for the skin and hair. Try some on a cotton ball and apply to your face as a toning agent or add a few cups to bathwater.
Uses for Sweet Whey
- Reconstitute fruit juice to add nutritional value.
- Use it as a starter culture when fermenting vegetables.
- Make whey lemonade.
- Add it to smoothies and shakes to provide more vitamins, minerals, and proteins.
- Use as cooking liquid for potatoes, rice, grits, pasta, and grains.
- Drink it straight.
- Make whey cheeses!
- Make lacto-fermented drinks such as ginger ale and limeades.
- Put it in your compost pile. It adds nutrients and makes thick, black compost.
- All the uses listed above for acid whey.
Whey can be strained from cultured dairy and placed in a covered container in the refrigerator, where it will keep for several months. It can also be frozen and used at a much later date. Any way you decide to use this beneficial byproduct, be happy in the knowledge that you are adding some amazing extra nutrition to your diet and avoiding unneeded waste.
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