Love Your Leftovers – Whey

Nov 6, 2016 | 5 comments


So, after making some gorgeous home made paneer, you’ll have a couple of pints or so of leftover liquid that is whey.

What can you use whey for?

Leftover whey

Now this looks like just a big jug of slightly coloured water. But it isn’t, oh no. It’s pretty valuable stuff. It is a by-product of the cheese making industry, and is used widely up and down the country in hundreds of different products. So many products in fact, that it was proposed on one of  the websites that I have been researching on that cheese is the by-product of whey making!

So what’s in it? Milk contains 80% casein protein and 20% whey protein.  When making cheese, the casein protein stays in the cheese (cottage cheese curds are mainly casein) and the whey protein stays in the liquid, in the whey. The liquid whey is a 5% solution of lactose in water and is also stuffed with vitamins and minerals.

Whey made into powder is a favourite of body builders and gym bunnies as it is so full of protein. This article was an interesting read. It suggests that drinking whey can help in weight loss, that it can help to reduce cholesterol, it can help increase production of insulin, so helping diabetes, it can help the symptoms of asthma and other ailments. I don’t believe everything I read on the internet! But if any of it is true, it makes whey a very interesting substance.

A study published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism concluded that “whey protein supplementation during resistance training offers some benefit compared to resistance training alone.” In addition, “males who supplemented with whey protein had a greater relative gain in lean tissue mass.


Here are some possible uses for your whey that I’ve found

  • I used some as the liquid when making a granary loaf. It was the lightest, springiest granary I’ve ever made! Encouraged by this, I made some scones with much the same effect. They were really good. Pancakes are next!
  • When soaking beans, add a few tblsps to the soaking water and it’s supposed to make the beans more digestible and to create hardly any wind. I’ll be trying this one.
  • Using whey to wash your face is supposed to give you super soft skin. I’ll definitely be trying this one.
  • Use it when making stock. You will get all the goodness from the whey in your soup.

This fabulous post has many suggestions on what to do with whey. Here are their ideas

  • They suggest replacing the liquid in pastry. As I’ve already tried bread and scones, I’m sure this will work as well.
  • Add a little to shakes and smoothies for a protein boost
  • Spray whey on plants with powdery mildew and the acidity will change the pH of the leaves discouraging the mildew from forming.
  • Blueberries and tomatoes, amongst other things, prefer an acidic soil. A bit of whey will help things along
  • Adding whey to something that you want to ferment will make the process happen more quickly than it otherwise would. I haven’t done any kimchi, or anything like that, it’s something on my very long list of recipes I want to do.
  • You could just drink it. It has an acidic flavour, try a little and see if you like it.

Here’s another post with some ideas

So, in conclusion, if you make paneer, or indeed, any other cheese, the whey leftover from the process is a valuable resource that you can use for many other things. If you find any others, I’d love to hear about them!




  1. voidbent

    Why are bones missing from your list? We put them in a freezer bag with leftover veg cuttings etc to boil up in our slow cooker and make broth. After you ve made your own broth you ll never use those little salt and brown food colouring cubes again.

  2. Lesley

    Ooh, curd tart and soda bread! What a lovely combination

  3. Ally

    I’m so glad I’m not the only one who uses this!
    My DH loves what we know as ‘yorkshire cheesecake’ (also known as curd tart). I’ve never had the heart to throw the whey after I’ve made the curds and got into the habit of using it for soda bread. I can get a good 2 loaves out of a litre of milk post curdle.
    Making them both become a bit of a tradition now.

  4. Lesley

    I haven’t been brave enough to try the face washing yet either! I’ll try it this evening


    I have a pot of whey in my fridge at the moment- it WAS going to go in scones.But now I may try one of these other excellent suggestions. Not too sure about washing my face- will I smell like an old dairymaid afterwards??

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