Whey, also called milk plasma, is the watery part of milk remaining after the separation of the casein. The liquid is a by product of cheese making and contains lactose, vitamins, protein and minerals along with some traces of fat.
Some Good Uses for Whey
Whey is a good addition to shakes and smoothies to give a protein and mineral boost. Whey also helps in the culturing, or lacto-fermentation of vegetables/fruits to ensure consistently satisfactory results, as discussed by Sally Fallon in her book Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats.
How to Obtain Whey
The best whey is fresh whey that you get at home (and fresh whey is a must in some applications, such as lacto-fermentation). Their are multiple ways to obtain whey yourself…….one of the easiest is from yogurt, either homemade or good-quality store-bought. See the instructions below on the easy process of obtaining whey from yogurt.
Fresh Homemade Whey
You Will Need:
- homemade plain yogurt OR good-quality plain store-bought yogurt
- coffee filter OR clean kitchen towel OR double-lined cheesecloth/muslin
- Line the strainer with coffee filter or kitchen towel/cheesecloth. I use the coffee filter because it is easiest for me, and I only strain a couple of cups of yogurt at a time. So if you would like to strain a larger amount, simply use the kitchen towel or cheesecloth and a larger strainer/bowl.
- Place strainer over the bowl. It should be sized so that the strainer sits on the lip of the bowl and does not touch the bottom of the bowl.
- Pour the yogurt into the lined strainer and allow to drain for several hours, to overnight. I place mine in the refrigerator and allow it to drain all night long.
The liquid remaining in the bowl is your whey. Pour this whey into a jar, cover with lid, and keep in fridge for upto 6 months.
The thickened yogurt left in the strainer makes a good cream-cheese type substitute. Simply sweeten with a little stevia, maple syrup, or raw honey and use as a dip for fruit or spread on some homemade sourdough bread.