The leftover liquid when the curdled milk is strained (or milk solids separated) is called whey. Whey is blessed with easily absorbable proteins than milk, like α-lactalbumin & β-lactoglobulin. Whey can be the leftover of hung yogurt, chena (paneer), or clabbered raw milk (Clabbered milk is the unboiled milk for 18-24 hours and allowing milk to naturally coagulate).
When we prepare homemade coagulated milk recipes like Milk Powder Chena Burfi, Paneer Malpua With Rabdi, Kaacha Gola Recipe, Kesar Elaichi Shrikand, Angoori Rasmalai, Amrakhand, a large amount of whey is leftover and sometimes, it goes down the drain. This might either be due to its large amount or lack of information about how to use it back in kitchen. Ways to use whey will help us use it in different ways.
Types Of Whey
There are two kinds of whey-Sweet Whey and Acid Whey. When whey is a leftover of drained yogurt, buttermilk, or cheddar cheese, it is called Sweet Whey. Acid Whey is the leftover of paneer, or ricotta (when we use acidic agent to coagulate milk, like lemon juice or vinegar). Homemade paneer or ricotta leaves a large amount of leftover whey, and so does hung yogurt or buttermilk. Industrially, whey cheeses like ricotta or whey butter is made from whey and rest is taken up for extraction of whey protein which is a very popular health supplement. Whey could, at times, replace milk in some recipes. Here’s how you could use leftover whey in your kitchen.
Health Benefits Of Whey
- Whey has about 13 grams of carbohydrates per cup and hence is an energy giver.
- Acid whey provides about 25% of daily requirement of calcium and phosphorus where as sweet whey gives about 12% of cal-phos RDA. It has traces of potassium, magnesium and zinc minerals as well. The composition differs with the coagulatory agent added to milk.
- Though protein in whey liquid is 2 percent, this protein is in highly absorbable form.
- With all the fat going in coagulated milk, whey has very less fat.
1. Whey in Smoothies & Juices
Sweet Whey can be used in smoothies to replace milk. In smoothies with banana or oats that give the whitish color and adds texture and body to the smoothie, the whey can be substituted. For example, sweet whey can replace milk in Papaya Banana Smoothie, Fresh Figs Strawberry and Banana Smoothie or Peanut Butter Oats & Banana Smoothie. You can prepare any juice with whey as base instead of water, be it Bottle Gourd & Mint Vegetable Juice, Cantaloupe (Melon) Juice or Beetroot and Celery Juice.
2.Whey in batters & dough
Acid whey can be used to prepare batters like pancake batter, waffle batter & muffins batter. Acid whey helps as a conditioning agent, much similar to addition of milk and hence can be used instead of milk. In making cookie dough, dough for breads, or tarts, whey (both acid whey & sweet whey) can be used to bind the dough and condition it.
3.Whey to marinade and soaking
Whey is a great option to use for marinating meat and veggies. Put whey to marinade along with the desired spices and the food will have the binge flavour and yumminess that is added from whey, for recipes like Achari Paneer Tikka Recipe, or Prawns Pulao Recipe. Soaking of various pulses can be done in whey instead of water. While the antinutrients of pulses seep into the whey, the beneficial nutrients of whey get absorbed by the pulses and legumes.
4. Whey to make veg or meat stock
While preparing stocks, we usually use water. But instead, we can use sweet whey to make the vegetables or meat stock. This stock or broth prepared from whey is further healthy when compared to stock prepared with plain water. This stock or broth can be consumed as such seasoned with salt and pepper, or can be used in soups and stews as well.
5. Whey for cooking & lacto-fermenting
Sweet whey can be used to cook pasta, pulses, cereals, millets, meat and vegetables. Cooking process renders added nutrients to the food. You can also use whey to lacto ferment veggies as in Bok Choy Kimchi Recipe or for pickling of gherkins, cabbage, peppers, cucumbers or jalapenos. Lacto fermenting has a specific taste to pickled veggies which can be attributed to whey.