If you like to strain regular yogurt (homemade or store-bought) to make Greek yogurt, you may be asking yourself what to do with all that whey. (That’s what you call the yellowish, clear liquid that separates from the milk solids.) Check out these ideas for 18 Ways to Use Whey, a By-Product of Greek Yogurt.
My Whey Story:
Recently, I made some punch for a party resulting in leftover lemonade. I offered my husband a glass which he gladly accepted. Sometime later, he went searching for more lemonade. After a quick survey of the fridge, he spotted a lemonade look-alike in a quart-size mason jar and unwittingly poured himself a big glass of whey-on-the-rocks. Unfortunately, I missed the show, but I understand he couldn’t get to the sink fast enough. In telling the story, he claimed it was the most vile stuff he had ever tasted. Of course, I promptly informed him it was supposed to be healthy. He was unimpressed.
Up until now, I felt the same way about whey. Consequently, I threw it out. But hey…I’m not the only whey-waster. The majority of you who participated in my survey on Facebook said the same thing.
In preparation for writing this article, I browsed through the comment section of my post about making Greek yogurt at home. Y’all gave me some great ideas. Some I have tried. Others, I have not. Therefore, I’m not endorsing or recommending any of these ideas. I’m just putting them out there because one of you said it worked.
18 Ways to Use Whey–a By-Product of Greek Yogurt:
- Substitute for other liquids when baking. For instance, it gives breads and pancakes a nice sourdough-ish flavor. I have often used it as the liquid in pizza dough. It adds a wonderful taste to the crust.
- Add whey to protein shakes.
- Lacto-fermented veggies and fruits
- Use for soaking whole wheat flours.
- Keep feta cheese fresh by submerging it in whey like they often do in Greek delis.
- Makes great sauerkraut, fermented bean dip, beets, etc and the whey helps the fermentation along with some salt.
- Use whey for boiling noodles or cooking rice.
- Feed it to outdoor plants. Reportedly, tomatoes especially need and benefit from the extra calcium.
- Mix it half and half with iced tea. One person called it an “Arnold Palmer without the lemon-aid.”
- Grab some whey any time a recipe calls for chicken broth, or even as a replacement for wine in some cases. (I’m not recommending this one for all soup. I tried it with potato soup. BLECH! We had egg sandwiches for dinner that night.)
- Thin out a batch of homemade hummus or pesto with whey.
- Use it to cook quinoa.
- Boil your oatmeal in whey. Then top with dried Montmorency cherries reconstituted in (you guessed it!) whey.
- You can use some of the whey to make lacto-fermented pickles. The cookbook Nourishing Traditions explains how to use whey along with a brine.
- Make your own ricotta cheese using whey instead of the more traditional lemon juice or vinegar. Just so you know, the process will actually produce even more whey, but at least you won’t have to go buy lemons.
- Someone suggested thinking of whey as clear buttermilk. This idea resonated with me, so I started envisioning how I could do this with fried chicken. I marinated my chicken breasts in whey, then rolled them in seasoned flour for some pretty fabulous fried chicken.
- Based on suggestion #1, I recently made the flakiest, lightest and most tender biscuits to ever come out of my kitchen using whey as the liquid. Check out the recipe for Flaky Cinnamon Biscuits and the Honey-Butter Glazed Flaky Biscuits pictured above.
- Many people feed whey to their pets and claim they love it.
In case you don’t know much about Greek yogurt, you can see the process from beginning to end here.
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