Waste Not Want Not

Discovering ways to re-purpose discards, making items from scratch and being self-sufficient.


Don’t Throw Away Your Whey

Just as I promised, I’ve found several very good ideas for using the whey left from making cheese and yogurt.  Many recipes for homemade cheese and yogurt encourage pouring this useful by-product down the drain but having a miser mindset, I don’t throw anything away if it can be used.  I’m often accused of dividing leftover food and freezing it in ice trays.  Guilty as charged.

Substitute whey in any baking recipe that calls for water or milk.

  1. Use it in fresh yeast breads and rolls recipes
  2. Add it to your cornbread, pancakes, waffles, muffins, biscuit batters
  3. Use it to cook pasta, potatoes, oatmeal, or rice and whey will add extra flavor to the foods
  4. Add it to soups and stews
  5. Use it as an additive to fruit smoothies and shakes
  6. Mix a little in your dog’s food for extra nutrition
  7. Pour it over your compost
  8. Spray your lawn with whey

One of my favorite ideas for using leftover whey is to make ricotta cheese.  All the recipes I’ve found for this homemade yummy, call for at least one to two gallons of whey.  If you are a cheese or yogurt maker you may want to freeze your smaller batches of whey until you have a gallon and they try your hand at ricotta.

ricotta

FYI:

  1. You’ll need a colander lined with cheesecloth
  2. A large stock pot
  3. Candy thermometer
  4. Yield about 1 cup of fresh ricotta

Ingredients for Ricotta

  • 1 to 2 gallons fresh whey
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • A pinch of salt

Procedures

  1. Heat your whey to 200°F, or a low boil
  2. Let the curds come together for 5 minutes or so, then drain the pot into your cloth-lined colander. The bulk of the whey should drain out within the first 5 minutes.
  3. When your ricotta has reached the desired balance of creaminess v. curdiness, scoop the cheese into a bowl and refrigerate until use.

Good luck! As soon as I have enough whey, I’m giving this a try.

Until next time!

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