Tuesday 15 May 2012

Frugal Tuesday - Don't Throw Out the Whey!

Now that I have started to make cheese I am left with liters and gallons of whey and I just can't bring myself to throw it out. What to do? A gallon of milk only makes about a pound of cheese and the rest is leftover whey. That means a LOT of whey for each time I make cheese and the thought of dumping it down the drain makes me cringe. It is so full of protein and other nutrients I had to do some research and see what I could come up with. As it turns out there are so many ways to use it I will never be throwing it out.

First of all there are two types of whey, sweet and acid. Sweet whey is what is left after making cheese with rennet and cultures. Acid whey is from making any cheese using vinegar, citric acid or lemon juice, farmers cheese, 30 minute mozzarella and ricotta are often made this way. This is the way I started making cheese and am hoping very soon my rennet and cultures will come in the mail so I can make mozzarella and other cheeses. Sweet whey can be used for any of the items listed but acid whey is best for only certain items. Although I have to put a disclaimer in here as I have used acid whey for some of the sweet whey uses with great results and a few of the item I researched didn't specify which type of whey to use.

Best uses for acid whey (Sweet whey can be used for all)
  1. Reconstitute fruit juice and add loads of nutrients and protein.
  2. Make lemonade with some of it. Here's how
  3. Feed it to farm animals such as chickens, dogs, cats and pigs. If you are making your own chicken feed whey has a high protein content so can add much needed protein. Just make sure you offer them fresh water along with it. Even cows and sheep benefit from whey when some of their water is replaced by it. Some animals will prefer sweet whey to acid whey.
  4. Marinate your meat in it. Here's a recipe for Moroccan chicken I plan on trying. 
  5. Feed it to your plants. Here's how.
  6. Add it to your shakes to add protein and nutrients,
  7. Cook your pasta, potatoes, oatmeal, polenta and rice with it. It does change the flavor slightly, but it is delicious!
  8. Put it on your hair. Whey (acid or sweet) is great for your hair and can be used for a simple cleaning (rub in and rinse off) if your hair isn't very dirty or as a conditioner (leave in for 15 minutes then rinse) for afterwards. It also supposedly adds texture to limp, fine hair when sprayed on and then styled. The conditioner is especially great when acid whey is used as it has vinegar in it which is great as a conditioner just on its own. 
Sweet Whey (also all items listed above)
  1. Drink it. There are a lot of people who love it but I'm not sold and think it is an acquired taste. Doesn't hurt to try though!
  2. If you have sweet whey you can make ricotta cheese from the whey. Here is a great link on how to make it. So simple! And you have two types of cheese from one gallon of milk. 
  3. Make bread (This is the very first thing I do. I love the way it tastes!) you can find my recipe here
  4. Use it in almost any recipe calling for milk or buttermilk. Of course I don't think it would taste right in a cream soup but I haven't tried it yet. However, any baking is fair game! Just be aware it will change the texture a bit. Here's a great site on how to use it in baking.
  5. Use it to lacto-ferment vegetables such as sauerkraut and other veggies
  6. Soak your grains in it. If you are into grains a few tablespoons of whey can add great nutrients and make them more digestible.
  7. Make lacto-fermented gingerale
  8. Make a Whey and Honey face mask.
  9. But it in your bath water as it is great for your skin. One to two cups per bath.
  10. Use it to sooth a sunburn. 
  11. If all else fails put it on your compost bin. It will improve the nutrients in your bin.
I certainly feel much better now that I don't have to throw away all those wonderful nutrients. If you have any other uses for whey which you have experimented with let me know and I will add them to my list!

Also seen on Our Simple FarmFrugally Sustainable, Natural Mothers Network, The Prairie Homestead and Mind Body and Soul blog hops.


  1. What a handy list! I currently only use whey for breads (biscuits, pancakes etc.), but I thought I should try and use it in smoothies so I poured it up in icecube trays. I also wanted to try and see what it did in soapmaking! But I see there is no reason to consider cheese as the only thing to get from this project!

    I have frozen several gallons and there are two gallons in my fridge now-a timely post to read- thank you.

    I do like the flavor of rennet made cheese whey over vinegar made cheese whey. I haven't tested the flavor of lemon juice, I might like that better than vinegar.

  2. We use our whey primarily to water plants and when we had pigs (and hopefully we will have some again soon!) we used it to soak grain for the pigs. They loved it!

  3. This is a great post. I don't make cheese, but I do drain yogurt to make Greek Yogurt and the I guess whey is drained out. I always wonder what I can do with it..

    Can I use that whey in the same way?

    1. You definitely can! I've used my yogurt whey in several recipes and have had great success. Check them out if you're interested:


  4. When I made my first batch of mozzarella (which was a big flop!) I used the whey to make pancakes, which were REALLY good. Then I made bread, and it turned my good recipe into a perfect one. The texture was amazing. I told my kids I would mess up cheese all the time just to get the whey

  5. Thanks so much for sharing my Moroccan Chicken recipe! I hope you like it! In addition to tenderizing meat, I absolutely love the moistness that whey provides to baked goods, too. Here are some other recipes to try if you're looking for yummy ways to use your whey:

    Hope those can be of help to someone! :)

    1. Thanks for stopping by Tonya. I will check those out as well. :)

  6. I promise I won't!! Thanks so much for sharing this with us at Natural Mother's “Seasonal Celebration Sunday.” Hope to see you again this Sunday / Monday!! Rebecca x

  7. I made some Farmer's cheese using white vinegar from some raw milk I got from a local farmer. Can I use the leftover whey for lacto-fermentation or is sweet whey the only kind to use?

    Thanks for your help! This post is really helpful!

  8. I've used it to make rocotta cheese, mix with grain to feed chickens and pigs,added it to bread and used it in making biscuits.

  9. It is imperative that we read blog post very carefully. I am already done it and find that this post is really amazing.
    low calorie protein powder


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...