What to do with all this whey...
April 28, 2014 12:19 PM   Subscribe

I made Greek-style yogurt the other day and I have about a quart of whey left over. Any ideas about what to do with it?

Someone else asked this, but with goat's milk, back in 2010. I used whole cow's milk if that makes a difference. I don't want to toss it because I hear it's pretty nutritious.

Any ideas, other than soup and composting (which is what I got from Google), of what to do with it? I don't eat much soup since it gives me heartburn, and I don't have a garden. I tried giving it to my pets (another Google suggestion) but they're having none of it. I'll make biscuits from it tonight, but that won't hardly make a dent in what I have.

It's just me and the hubby, so anything I make will be small batches. Like the biscuits, it'll be half a recipe, and that'll last days.
posted by patheral to Food & Drink (15 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Well, biscuits freeze really well. Mix, roll, cut, freeze. Stick 'em in the freezer and then bake them straight from frozen, just add a couple more minutes to cooking time.
posted by hungrybruno at 12:21 PM on April 28, 2014 [1 favorite]

I'm personally a big fan of using leftover whey to replace milk in baked goods.
posted by PearlRose at 12:22 PM on April 28, 2014

You can use it to lacto-ferment vegetables. Google 'whey fermenting vegetables' for a whole list of ideas.
posted by mudpuppie at 12:33 PM on April 28, 2014 [2 favorites]

Put it in a smoothie or a milkshake.

It freezes just fine in an ice-cube tray for later use as well.
posted by epanalepsis at 12:58 PM on April 28, 2014

It's a problem for the big producers too, because the process means the whey is mostly water .. (As covered on the blue)
posted by k5.user at 1:04 PM on April 28, 2014

Its honestly not that nutritious. It has a small amount of lactose dissolved in a large amount of water.

If you had made mozzarella from the milk, you could re-boil, add acid (like vinegar), and scoop up a cup or so of ricotta cheese. But yogurt making already curdles these proteins, through your culture's creating an acidic environment, and you'd make maybe a tiny amount. After that? There is really just sugar water leftover.

Water your plants with it or add it to a fruit smoothie. You can also cook beans or pasta in it.
posted by fontophilic at 1:13 PM on April 28, 2014

Welcome to my world! I started making Greek yogurt a few months ago (and have branched out into kefir, though haven't totally gotten the hang of that yet), and whey has now become a staple in my kitchen. It will keep for months in the fridge, and I've gotten a lot of uses out of it (which is good, because I keep making more of it!)

I keep a regular supply of bread dough in the fridge, and use the whey in place of water. That alone takes up a couple of cups right there, and it adds a nice flavor.

I also started using the whey to culture homemade condiments - so far just lacto-fermented mayonnaise, but I'm also planning on culturing some cream with yogurt whey to make cultured butter soon.

I also tried using it as toner (made my skin feel great but I didn't like the smell), but I've also used it to soak dry beans in before cooking them (I'm not even sure you get much benefit from it, but it makes me feel like I'm getting some use out of the whey before throwing it out).

The culturing/fermenting uses of whey are my favorite, though - but watch out. I started making yogurt just because I wanted to save money on breakfast, and now I constantly have a jar of something culturing on the counter. I now consider yogurt whey the gateway drug to a full-on fermentation lifestyle!
posted by Neely O'Hara at 1:14 PM on April 28, 2014 [1 favorite]

I freeze it until I'm making bread and then use it in place of milk/water. Or pour it down the drain.
posted by juliapangolin at 1:14 PM on April 28, 2014

Nthing that you can use it as starter for fermenting all kinds of things. Inspired by this book, I've been making fermented ginger ale and grapefruit sodas with yogurt whey. (It's a nicer-tasting starter than sauerkraut juice.)

Also nthing that starting projects like this will complicate your life infinitely more than just pouring the whey down the sink.
posted by teditrix at 1:41 PM on April 28, 2014

It's currently a notable issue in the industry of greek yogurt! Turns out it's hard to dispose of :P in bulk at least.
posted by jjmoney at 1:43 PM on April 28, 2014

I made my own paneer recently and mixed the whey from that process with mango puree to make a lassi / smoothie drink like Lattella.

When I'm next stuck with some whey I'll probably include it as the water component in soups.
posted by pipstar at 3:28 PM on April 28, 2014

Don't worry, they whey keeps for quite some time in the fridge, as it is also an acidified milk product. It's pretty liquidy, so I usually stick to beverage options, especially since I'm not that in to baked goods.
Smoothies work well--sometimes I'll soak some flaxseeds in the whey overnight or more so they make a thicker smoothie when blended with frozen berries.
I also really like dugh (or as I remember it, from my initial google of what to do with whey, doh (though that turns up only Homer Simpson references now)), a salted yogurt drink with mint. This recipe is similar to what I came across initially, but use whey instead of whole yogurt, and less seltzer.
Basically mix in mint, salt, and lime with the whey and add seltzer to a nice consistency. Some versions add ginger. I find it very refreshing.

Also, to minimize the amount of whey you are draining off your yogurt, make sure you're heating the milk to 185 F for at least 5 minutes before bringing it down to 112 to add the cultures.
posted by ...tm... at 4:01 AM on April 29, 2014

So dugh is like ayran with seltzer. Why didn't I think of that?
posted by patheral at 1:33 PM on April 29, 2014

Michael Symon once made a mozzarella sorbetto using the whey the mozz was packed in.

It's almost summer, so do something interesting with some fresh tomatoes and basil and you've got a neat variation on a Caprese.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:34 AM on May 1, 2014

Probably too hard at a small scale, but here is an interesting use of whey, distilling into alcohol. Whey Alcohol

I also enjoy drinking the whey over ice, or as an ingredient in a cocktail.
posted by vegetableagony at 2:41 PM on May 13, 2014

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