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Hey! Where’s the Whey? How to Make Whey


The Second Opinion Thyroid Summit

UPDATE 7/25/12: Since writing this post over a year ago, I have since stopped using whey in my ferments. You can read about why I decided to stop using whey as a ferment starter here. That said, whey still has an important place in my kitchen. It is very nutrient dense and extremely nourishing. Read this great post from Lydia at Divine Health from the Inside Out about why whey should be consumed regularly. You can also see why Melanie, from Pickle Me Too, has decided to stop using whey as a ferment starter as well. The following tutorial is still great though, because many people don’t know just how easy it is to “make whey”! Enjoy! ~Jessica

If you have read and/or follow the recipes in Nourishing Traditions, you’ve seen that whey is used in many of the recipes, especially in the fermenting of foods. Lacto-fermented foods are foods where whey is used to help stimulate the good bacteria production.

Whey is a complete protein and is full of amino acids. It can be used for a whole host of things, including:

  • Use it for the acid when you’re soaking your grains, soaking nuts and seeds, and soaking legumes.
  • Use it to lacto-ferment vegetables and fruits.
  • Add some to your soups, smoothies, or as the liquids in baked goods to help increase the protein.
  • Drink it as a protein drink that is easily assimilate and digested (some people like the taste, some don’t).
  • Use it on your skin to soothe irritation.
  • Pour it over your dogs food (if you want to share)

For the longest time, I didn’t know what whey was or how I could get my hands on some, and I know I’m not alone. Whey is SO easy to obtain. It just take one ingredient and a couple simple steps. This recipe can easily be doubled, tripled, etc., depending on how much you need.

This recipe is part of Simple Lives Thursday, 32nd Edition | Make Your Own! | Simple Lives Thursday | Monday Mania | Frugal Ways, Sustainable Ways

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Discussion

25 comments

  1. Thank you so much for posting this article. I appreciate the step by step along with the photos. Although I have the NT book and a follower of WAP I have been hesitant to make the whey and also fermenting veggies.
    I’m going to finally do this today because I also want to make Nourished Kitchen (Jenny?)fermented ketchup. :)
    Do you add any salt, flavoring, herbs to the yogurt cheese?

    reply 

    Lori
    Posted 02/23/11

  2. Hi Lori! Thanks for commenting and I’m so glad that this was helpful for you! I know how you feel. For the longest time, I felt like fermenting and making whey, etc., was just too confusing. But, now that I have done it, I realize I had nothing to be scared of! I actually just recently started lacto-fermenting lemons, as well as starting in on water kefir. Kombucha and kimchi are my next steps!

    As far as the cheese goes, you could add whatever you want – onions and chives would be great for toast or as a spread for sandwiches, fresh herbs would be delish, or even fruit for a sweet spread.

    I hope that you give it a try! You’ll be so happy you did!

    Thanks for reading!

    P.S. I just checked out your Etsy site and saw that you’re from CO too! We’re neighbors! And your pottery is BEAUTIFUL! I have it bookmarked and am seriously considering this one: http://www.etsy.com/listing/62503766/lidded-stoneware-iron-green-bowl

    reply 

    Jessica
    Posted 02/24/11

  3. I have to say as lovely as this post is, I adore those cute little canning jars! I’ll have to find some like that… too cute! Thanks for linking up to Simple Lives!!

    reply 

    Diana@Spain in Iowa
    Posted 02/24/11

    • Hi Diana! Thanks for commenting. I actually found those at Sur la Table (my new store of choice … man that place is DANGEROUS when you’re on a budget!). It was $7.00 for 4 of them, which is not really that cheap, but they are the perfect size for all sorts of things. Each one is about a cup, just a hair more. I thought the whey looked awfully good in them! :)

      Thanks for doing the carnival every week! It’s so fun to find new blogs to follow and check out everyone’s recipes!

      reply 

      Jessica
      Posted 02/24/11

  4. I use whey all the time…for sauerkraut, mayonnaise and beet kvass. I also drink it with a little water and lemon in the morning. I love it! Thanks for sharing how you make it. I use flour sack material instead of cheese cloth, as a result my whey is closer to a yellow color and almost clear. I don’t know that it makes much of a difference, I’m guessing there’s less milk proteins and sugars left behind, either way, I love hearing about your love of food and all things fermented! And btw, I really like the ‘cream cheese’ left behind, it’s tasty too. My husband says it’s more like sour cream that cream cheese, no matter what you call it, it’s good on toast!

    reply 

    kristin konvolinka
    Posted 02/26/11

    • Hi Kristin! Thanks for the comment. I’ve noticed that my whey actually gets more yellow once I stick it in the fridge. I took some out this morning to use it and I noticed how golden it was. Great idea about drinking it with lemon in the morning. I think I’ll start doing that too – you can’t have too many probiotics, that’s for sure! I find that the yogurt cheese definitely is more like sour cream than cream cheese. Much more tangy. I use it on all sorts of things. If you add in some fresh herbs, it makes a great spread for crackers and sandwiches! Thanks for reading and the support! Much appreciated :)

      reply 

      Jessica
      Posted 02/26/11

  5. You made it sound so easy – no whey! ;)

    reply 
    • Haha! It IS easy – I had no idea until I actually did it! I always assumed getting whey was this long, complicated process, but it’s really quite simple! Glad you liked the post!

      reply 

      Jessica
      Posted 11/13/11

  6. Thank you for your submission on Nourishing Treasures’ Make Your Own! Monday link-up.

    Check back tonight when the new link-up is running to see if you were one of the top 3 featured posts! :)

    reply 
  7. This post is so informative and full of useful tips!!! I think my subscribers would really enjoy reading this. I would love for you to come share it at Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways on Frugally Sustainable today (and anything else you’d like to share from your fabulous blog).
    I really hope that you will put Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways on your list of carnivals to visit and link to each Wednesday! Here’s the link: http://frugallysustainable.blogspot.com/2011/11/frugal-days-sustainable-ways-1.htmlWarmly,Andrea @ Frugally SustainableHere’s the link: http://www.frugallysustainable.com

    reply 

    Andrea @ Frugally Sustainable
    Posted 11/16/11

    • Andrea – thank you so much for your kind words! I’d be happy to come over and share! I’ll try to do that now – I hope the tips are beneficial to your reader! Thank you for stopping by! :)

      reply 

      Jessica
      Posted 11/20/11

  8. I’m so happy that you made it:) Thank you so very much for linking up to Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways:) I’m so happy to “meet” you! I am totally loving your blog and your posts!
    I really hope you make Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways a part of your Wednesdays! And keep the great posts comin’
    Very sincerely,
    Andrea @ Frugally Sustainable

    reply 

    Andrea @ Frugally Sustainable
    Posted 11/20/11

  9. Thanks again Jessica:) I’m sharing this post on my fb page now:) (http://www.facebook.com/frugallysustainable)

    reply 

    Andrea @ Frugally Sustainable
    Posted 11/21/11

  10. Is there a reason you used a plastic strainer and a glass bowl? would there be any issue using metal?

    thanks!

    reply 

    liz
    Posted 02/16/12

    • I’ve been told that the metal will interact with the whey and make it taste off. I have never experimented with it, I’ve just always used a glass bowl and my plastic strainer. Guess I should test out the theory that the metal will leave a metallic taste, but I am afraid to sacrifice a batch of whey! :)

      reply 

      Jessica
      Posted 02/16/12

  11. Yay thank you SO much for this! I am new to fermenting & about to begin. Everywhere I look I see recipes calling for whey & I had NO idea where to get it! I will do this tomorrow :)

    Happy Easter!

    reply 

    Heather
    Posted 04/08/12

  12. So, the liquid that forms on the top of the yogurt that I always pour off is whey and I can use it??

    reply 

    Edie
    Posted 05/28/13

    • Hi Edie – Yes, that is the whey and by all means use it! :)

      reply 

      Jessica
      Posted 05/28/13

  13. What about making whey from clabbered raw milk instead of yogurt. Is that ok too?

    reply 

    Sara Gordon
    Posted 08/06/13

    • Hi Sara – The taste will be different, but it should also be fine! :)

      reply 

      Jessica
      Posted 08/06/13

  14. Question–All this talk about using an anaerobic vessel, Doesn’t this need to be anaerobic as well? Will the oxygen destroy the LABs?

    reply 

    Catherine
    Posted 03/22/14

    • Hi Catherine – No, this does not need to be anaerobic, as you’re not actually doing any fermenting here, you’re just straining off the whey from the yogurt. I am not really using whey as a probiotic, more for the nutrients that are in it. Hope that helps.

      reply 

      Jessica Espinoza
      Posted 03/22/14

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