Yes WHEY! A Bunch of Uses For Extra Whey

We shared how to make greek yogurt yesterday – it is one of several processes (that are dominated by a bunch of different cheese making processes) that will leave you with a bunch of whey.  It looks like cloudy water, it tastes a little sour and it’s ALIVE!  Are you going to throw it out?  I say, “KNOW WHEY!” (or the opposite, “YA WHEY!”)

Here’s a 10 uses for whey:

  1. Put it in pizza dough (or any other dough).  Replace some, or all, of the water in this recipe with whey and you’ll be thrilled with the extra flavor.
  2. You could add it to the best rolls for ribs (instead of beer); the tang will go with the heartiest of BBQ.
  3. You can add it to your jar of sauerkraut or kimchi.  This will accelerate fermentation if your product is still on the counter or add to the flavor if it’s in the fridge.
  4. Like the brines from Kraut and Kimchi, you can mix a bit in potato salad (such as this potato salad that includes wild leeks/ ramps)
  5. Feed plants or your garden (from all I’ve read, most dilute it with 5-7 parts water for this use).
  6. Use part of it to cook rice or grains in – this is most effective when using them for a stir fry (and not eating as-is).
  7. You can  lactoferment veggies and pickles with it.  Examples include fermented apples and fermented hot sauce.
  8. Some people drink it or make tea with it (hint: if making tea, you’re best to make COLD BREWED tea or add a cooled concentrated tea to the whey as cooking it will remove it’s living bacteria that’s healthy for you).  I know some people also add it to smoothies.
  9. You could cook it down (this will kill many of the benefits) and use it to add a sour note to dishes (like hot and sour soup) by adding it to your stock.
  10. You can create a marinade from it.

What do you do with leftover whey?


  1. I use it to soak grains and beans before I cook them. It helps break down the phytic acid and makes it easier to digest.

  2. Funny. I have a ton of it in the fridge now and was just researching how to use it. Apparently, it’s VERY effective at combating powdery mildew on plants in the garden!

  3. I feed my leftover whey to my chickens-makes for great protein packed eggs and healthy happy chickens!

  4. I’ve used it for making pizza dough and it worked out excellent. I also use it to cook steel cut oats.

  5. I use my milk kefir whey in lacto-fermentation, or soak bread scraps in it and feed it to the chooks!

  6. I add some whey when soaking oatmeal over night, to dispel the pytates in the oats and make them easier to digest.

  7. Just came across a buttermilk muffin recipe that calls for either buttermilk or whey. That will come in handy at my house!

  8. mgeorge3 says:

    I just made mozzarella last weekend and felt horrible not keeping the whey, because I didn’t know what to do with it. Thanks for the ideas!

  9. Yogurt Queen says:

    After straining the yogurt (in a large coffee filter), I put the whey in ice cube trays and freeze it. Two whey ice cubes are perfect for making a new batch of yogurt.

    • Yogurt Queen,

      Awesome idea – thanks for sharing it! We keep it in the fridge for a prolonged time in a mason jar and it is pretty stable but this would ensure it’s stability. Much appreciated!


    • Yogurt Queen,
      I freeze mine in ice cube trays as well! I add mine to my husband’s protein shakes every morning. Does adding whey to the yogurt work as a starter? Thank you!

  10. I just found this on another website:

    Indian whey lime drink

    3 cups cold yogurt whey
    the juice of 1 lemon (or lime)
    1 tablespoon maple syrup
    1/4 teaspoon cardamom (or more or less, to taste)

    Combine all of the ingredients in a jar and shake well.

  11. Skin care! Both whey and yogurt are great for your skin. Mix equal parts honey to yogurt for the best face mask ever, leave on for at least ten minutes or even longer. Whey is great to add to your bath water or just to use as a toner on your skin. Any way you go, you are adding proteins and vitamins while stripping away dead cells. For stronger, healthier skin, hair and nails use yogurt and whey on the inside and out!

  12. Wow! I had no idea, I strain lots of yoghurt as I’m always making tzaziki and won’t be throwing out the whey after reading all of these ideas, thanks!

  13. there’s a whole lot more you can do with whey, as i am recently finding out – plus there are lots of others. it’s like liquid gold!!

  14. FlowingPrana says:

    I’ve heard about Lacto-fermented homemade mayonnaise. I haven’t tried it myself yet.


  1. [...] Other uses for whey (I include this as you’re likely to end up with extra) [...]

  2. [...] Now that I’ve got you convinced on the buttermilk front, it’s time to strain some yogurt! Using a VERY fine mesh sieve, strain the curds from the whey. You may have to let it sit out for several minutes in order to fully drain the whey. Once you’re done straining, transfer the curds to a separate bowl. If you don’t want to throw it out, here are some ideas for ways to use up the resulting whey. [...]

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