Monday, January 24, 2011

What to do with Whey?

whey remaining from cheese curds recipe
In our last two cheese making adventures we tried to save all the whey when draining and pressing curds. We lost some, but in the end had 10+ quarts of the stuff. We found few recipes, but learned from Ricki the Cheese Queen that whey is a good substitute for broth in soups. So we tried several soups, substituting whey for the usual broth. Attempts and results are as follow: 1) cabbage soup (A winner and almost free, we made this with a half-head of leftover cabbage); 2)  mushroom soup (We loved it, but who could go wrong with any dish containing a half-pound of Grade A shiitakes?); 3) fusion gumbo (Our own creation, this was delicious as always and even better with whey); 4) split pea soup with ham (This was also good, the only difference noted was a bit more foaming in the initial cooking than with chicken broth or water); 5) pozole (This was a real challenge because we had trouble imagining how pozole made with whey would taste. It tasted pretty good, but fans of real pozole might think this one lacked authenticity).

pozole sint├ętico con suero de la leche
I looked up Calories in whey, wondering how the caloric content of whey compares with homemade chicken broth. Searching the web, I found that whey has 59 Calories per cup, whereas the homemade "chicken stock" we normally use is credibly listed at 97 Calories per cup. This is in contrast to the canned or boxed "chicken broth" found in grocery stores, most kinds of which have about 20 Calories per cup. So whether using whey saves Calories depends on whether you normally use homemade chicken stock or store-bought chicken broth.

The recipes linked above are not meant to be prescriptive; we seldom follow them to the letter, and aren't afraid to get creative.


  1. My friend Louise from the UK suggested trying potato-leek, so we have at least one more to try!

  2. One of the people in our class, The Amazing Cheese Story, at Santa Fe College Community Education, said that she used whey to make oatmeal! A bit bitter, she thought, but still really good. I need to try that!

  3. Am in the process of making whole wheat sourdough bread. The recipe originally came from Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon. However, it called for buttermilk - I used sourdough and added whey to it to thin it out to buttermilk consistency.It tasted plenty sour so I added a bit more honey. I just peaked, it is rising wonderfully!

  4. I'm really inspired by your eagerness to put this delicious by-product to productive use. I made a beef stew yesterday and used the Whey instead of beef stock and was amazed at the depth that it added to the flavor. I'd love to hear some feedback in the comments section over there if you have time to check it out.