What to do with all that Whey
In my last post I showed how to make feta cheese. One gallon of milk will give you one pound of cheese and about 3 quarts, maybe a bit more, of whey. Is it good for anything? Oh yes it is!! So if you make the cheese don't toss out the whey.
Whey still has a lot of healthful nutritional value to it. It is cultured (think probiotic. Probiotcs are expensive to buy and how great you can them as a by product of cheese making), it has some protein in it (whey is the main ingredient in many protein powders), it contains calcium and many B vitamins.
Here are some of the great things you can do with it....
Use whey instead of the liquids called for in a recipe. I've used it for yeast breads and quick breads. It adds a lot to the texture of your finished product. I made a batch of pancakes with it and they were yummy...
Use whey for the liquid in your smoothie. I've been doing this every day since I made cheese. It is delicious and nutritious.. A great source of probiotics. You can find my favorite smoothie recipe HERE.
I make lemonade for my husband to take to work every week. It is easy to make and frugal. I used some whey when I made it last week. It ups the nutritional value of simple lemonade.
2 cups bottled lemon juice
¾ cup sugar
1 cup of whey
Water to fill
gallon size pitcher or jar
To make this I heat a little water up to dissolve the sugar. Then put this in a gallon size pitcher or jar. Add the lemon juice and whey. Fill the pitcher or jar to the top with water. Let this sit on the counter for 2 to 3 days to ferment.
The end result was delicious. Taste it and see if you like your lemonade sweeter than the recipe states. My husband likes his a bit on the tart side.
I've used whey a lot over the years in making fermented veggies. I started making them after reading Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon. You can find info on how I do this HERE.
Substitute for Buttermilk
Since whey is acidic you can use it as a substitute in recipes calling for buttermilk.
The enzymes in the whey help to break down proteins and will make your meat more tender and flavorful. Soak your meat in whey for a couple of hours before grilling it.
You can feed it to your chickens or dogs. Since it is a milk product I would hesitate to feed it to cats.
You can use whey instead of vinegar when you are making stock or broth. I had a few chicken legs leftover last week from our dinner and I used them to make stock for chicken soup. I put the bones in the crockpot along with some veggies and added a cup of whey and about 4 or 5 cups of water. I let this cook for 24 hours, strained it and made soup from it.
If you don't think you can use that much whey up quickly enough, freeze it. It works great after it is defrosted.
****As a side note, you can get whey from other sources than feta cheese. You can also get it from yogurt or kefir. Hang it like I showed in my last post and let the whey drip from it.