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. Check out these ideas for 18 Ways to Use Whey, a By-Product of Greek Yogurt. #1 and #17 are my personal favorites.
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.
Do you feel like this?
In telling the story, he claimed it was the vilest 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.
Inspiration–Thanks to You
In preparation for writing this article, I browsed through the comment section of my post about making Greek yogurt at home. You all gave me some great ideas. It will take me a while to try all of them.
I’m not endorsing or recommending any of these ideas. I’m just putting them out there because one of you said it worked.
How is yogurt whey different from cheese whey?
Acid whey is drained from yogurt or sour cream. Whey drained from cheese-making is referred to as “sweet whey.” This makes a big difference in how you can use it and of course, the taste.
Please note that some of the suggestions in the comments are more appropriate for sweet whey, not acid whey.
18 Ways To Use Whey–a By-Product of Greek Yogurt
Substitute whey for other liquids when baking.
For instance, it gives bread and pancakes a unique sourdough-ish flavor. I have often used it as the liquid in My Favorite Pizza Dough and this Crusty French Bread. It adds a delicious taste to the crust.
Add whey to protein shakes.
Use for soaking whole wheat flours.
Keep feta cheese fresh.
Submerge your chunk of feta in whey like they often do in Greek delis.
Whey makes excellent sauerkraut, fermented bean dip, beets, etc.
The whey promotes fermentation along with some salt.
Feed whey to outdoor plants.
Reportedly, tomatoes especially need and benefit from the extra calcium. If you have pink hydrangeas, you can reportedly pour whey on the soil around them to turn the blooms blue.
Mix whey and half-and-half with iced tea (or grape juice or orange juice.)
One person called it an “Arnold Palmer without the lemon-aid.”
Make Crème Fraîche.
Stir together 1 cup of heavy cream and 1 tablespoon of whey in a small glass jar with a lid. Loosely cover the jar and let it sit on the counter for 12-24 hours or until it’s as thick as you like. (It will get thicker when chilled.) Store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks,
Thin out a batch of homemade hummus or pesto with whey.
Use it for cooking quinoa.
Boil your oatmeal in whey.
Then top with dried Montmorency cherries reconstituted in (you guessed it!) whey.
Make lacto-fermented pickles.
The cookbook Nourishing Traditions explains how to use whey along with a brine.
Try whey instead of the more traditional lemon juice or vinegar. Just so you know, the process will produce even more whey, but at least you won’t have to buy lemons.
Think of whey as transparent 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.
Make light, flaky, and tender biscuits using whey as the liquid.
Based on suggestion #1, I recently made the flakiest, lightest, and most tender biscuits with whey.
Check out the recipe for Flaky Cinnamon Biscuits or the Glazed Flaky Biscuits Made with Whey (or Buttermilk)
Many people feed whey to their pets and claim they love it.
What do you do with whey?
Have you tried something I don’t have listed here? Please share.
In case you don’t know much about making Greek yogurt, you can see the process from beginning to end in the video above.
Like I always say about making homemade yogurt, “Enjoy your science experiment in partnership with God.” Doesn’t it seem like a miracle?