18+ Uses for Yogurt Whey You May Not Have Thought Of Yet
Sneak Peek: Read more than 18 ways to use yogurt whey–the yellowish liquid strained from regular yogurt to make Greek yogurt.
As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
If you like to strain regular yogurt (homemade or store-bought) to make Greek yogurt, you may ask yourself, “What can I do with all this whey?”
Some people claim to drink whey straight up, but my husband doesn’t think much of that idea.
I once offered him a glass of lemonade leftover from a party. Later in the day, 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 heard he couldn’t get to the sink fast enough. Looks like we won’t be drinking whey, so I needed to find other uses for it.
Up until now, I’ll admit that I didn’t have much use for whey. But hey! I’m not the only whey-waster. Most of you who participated in my survey on Facebook said the same thing.
I invite you to check out the 18+1 ideas presented below. Don’t miss the bonus idea at the end if you are a sourdough bread maker.
#1 and #17 are my personal favorites.
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. Unfortunately, it will take me a while to try all of them.
Although I have not tried all of these ideas, I’m putting them out there because one of you said it worked.
How is yogurt whey different from cheese whey?
Acid whey derives from yogurt or sour cream. Whey drained from cheese-making is referred to as “sweet whey.” The origin 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.
Lacto-fermented veggies and fruits
Use for soaking whole wheat flour.
Here’s a good 100% whole grain bread recipe to try this idea. Make it with your bread machine.
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.
Get the straightforward directions for making crème fraîche here. It’s the most extravagantly rich and slightly tangy condiment you can imagine. If you like it, try making ice cream with creme fraiche and Nutella. YUM!
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 brine.
Make ricotta cheese using whey
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 to do this with fried chicken. I marinated my chicken breasts in whey and then rolled them in seasoned flour for fabulous fried chicken.
When I don’t have buttermilk in the house, I use whey and dry milk solids as a substitute in this soft white Blue-Ribbon Buttermilk Bread Machine recipe. Mix it in a bread machine, then bake it in your oven.
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 Glazed Flaky Biscuits Made with Whey (or Buttermilk) recipe. It includes the variation using cinnamon as seen on the left in the above picture.
Many people feed whey to their pets and claim they love it.
See the comment section for testimonials about this one.
Add whey to your homemade mayonnaise to keep it fresh longer.
Make a sourdough starter with yogurt whey (or yogurt) and flour.
How to use and maintain the starter:
- When you are ready to make bread, discard all but ½ cup of the starter. Add equal amounts (in weight) of whey and bread flour to replace what you will take out to make bread.
- For example, if your recipe calls for 1 cup of starter, add ½ cup (120 gr) of filtered water and 1 cup (120 gr) of flour. Stir.
- Place your starter in a warm place and let it sit until bubbly on top and spongy throughout. It should double in size (or more) when your starter is vigorous.
- Measure out the amount of starter you need.
- Add another 1/2 cup of filtered water and 1 cup of flour to the original starter. Stir, cover loosely and let it sit in a warm place (70˚F) until it starts to bubble. Refrigerate if not used in the next few days.
It’s best to feed your starter at least once a week. Once a month is a minimum.
If, at any point, you see mold or funky colors appear in your starter, throw it away and start over again.
Need a good sourdough bread recipe? Check out these recipes: Sourdough Dinner Rolls, Sourdough Bread Machine Bread (A Simple Loaf).
Parting thoughts: Are you looking for more ideas? Be sure to read the comments. My readers are the best! Now it’s your turn. Unless you like to drink yogurt whey straight-up, what have you tried that’s not listed here? Please share.
If you have questions or suggestions, email me privately for a quick answer: Paula at saladinajar.com. Hope to see you again soon!
Paula Rhodes, author
I’m a retired home economist, wife, mother, grandmother, and creator of Saladinajar.com. I believe you don’t have to be a chef to find joy in creating homemade food worth sharing. Here you’ll find time-saving tips, troubleshooting advice, and confidence-inspiring recipes to make life in the kitchen more fun, appetizing, and satisfying.