Using the best milk to make cheese can give you a couple of pounds of your favorite variety. It also gives you a significant amount of whey as a byproduct.
Instead of letting your leftover whey go to waste, use it as an ingredient in many of your favorite recipes.
Here are some examples to consider.
Best Options for Leftover Whey
1. Replace water with whey in baking recipes.
When you use whey in recipes that call for water, you receive better textures and outcomes with your baked goods. It creates more “fluff” in your favorite stuff because the added protein slightly alters the food science happening in the oven. You’re less likely to end up with dense items.
2. Give it to the farm animals.
Cheesemakers traditionally give leftover whey to the pigs, mixing up the liquid in their grain. You can also give it to dogs or cattle as a way to supplement their diet, although some canines don’t handle the dairy product well. Most animals prefer the sweet version, although the acidic one does seem to be the preference for some individuals.
3. Make some ricotta.
When cheesemakers have leftover sweet whey and some extra time, processing ricotta is an excellent choice. More profound flavors develop from sweeter whey, which means no hesitation can happen when draining the liquid. Some processors add a dollop of cream into the mix to enhance the taste even more.
4. Use it in stocks and soups.
Whey that sits around the curd for extra time can be an excellent addition to any soup or stock. It is rich in minerals, providing a nutrient burst that plain water could never offer. Add about one teaspoon of salt to encourage the final release of textures and flavor to put a different spin on your favorite recipes.
5. Apply it to your tomato plants.
Sweet whey can mix in equal parts with water to provide your tomato plants with an extra nutritional boost. Sensitive plants like lettuce and peppers may need more water in the ratio, especially if your whey is somewhat acidic. It would help if you waited until the seeds germinate to use this method because applying it to early can deter germination.
An extra benefit with acid whey is that it can improve soils that have pH levels that swing to the alkaline side. It adds potassium and phosphorus for the plants to enjoy.
6. Turn it into whey cheese.
Scandinavians make two kinds of excellent whey cheese: gjetost and mysost. The first comes from the goat, while the latter is made with cow’s milk. Take sweet whey from a block of hard cheese, cook it down for several hours, and you end up with a sliceable or spreadable product. It comes out with a caramel-like flavor with a touch of salt.
You can also use leftover whey to make butter, protein powder, or stretch Mozzarella. With all of these potential options, why would anyway ever throw it away?