Whey is a yellowish liquid that is leftover when the milk has been curdled and strained. It is a by-product of cheese or casein. Whey is usually categorized into two types; acid whey and sweet whey. Acid whey (sour whey) – is produced when acid substances are added during the curdling process—for example, adding vinegar and lemon juice. Sweet whey – this is produced by adding rennet during the curdling process.
Uses of whey
Whey is rich in protein, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and enzymes. Therefore it has numerous commercial uses and health benefits.
Some of the uses are discussed below;
1. Substitute for milk
During baking or when preparing any other dish that calls for milk, whey can be used in place of milk. Adding sweet whey to the dough helps to improve its flavor and makes it easy to roll. It may also help improve the nutritional value of the food.
2. Animal feeds
In the same way, whey is beneficial to health; it is beneficial to animals as well. Feeding animal with whey helps them to benefit from protein hence maintaining their health. It is also used as a dog’s treat. It is also used in place of animal drinking water.
3. Making smoothies
Whey is an essential recipe in the making of protein smoothies. Where water or any other liquid is called for, whey can be substituted in its place. Apart from making the smoothies nutritious, whey also helps make them sweet, soft, and fluffiest. Hence it is more preferable to water in smoothies-making.
4. Fermentation of foods
Whey can be used as a fermenting agent. Adding whey to the food to be fermented introduces enzymes responsible for the fermenting process to occur. It enriches food with other nutrients and may also flavor fermented food. It is a safe way of fermenting foods as no chemicals are involved.
5. Soaking beans
Soaking beans before cooking them is believed to have benefits to human health. Using whey in place of water to soak grains is related to other health benefits. Soaked beans are more comfortable to digest and absorb.
6. Skin conditioner
Whey may be used in skin treatment and conditioning. Bathing or massaging your skin with whey helps treat skin-related diseases and heal skin wounds as it is rich in nutrients. It is therefore used as a skin toner.
7. Raising soil pH
Acidic whey may be added to soil with a low level of acid to improve or raise it. Adding whey to soil helps plants that love acidic soil to flourish well. It, therefore, helps in the balancing of soil’s pH.
8.In the making of pizza
In pizza-making, whey may be added to the dough to substitute milk and water. It gives a sour-like flavor to the dough. In the making of pizza taco, whey can also be used as one ingredient.
9. Salad dressing
Sour salad dressing or sweet salad dressing can be prepared using different types of whey. Mixing vinegar oil with whey makes a sweet/sour liquid used as a salad dressing that can be used to serve any dish.
10. Making butter
Whey can be skimmed to produce a cream that is sweeter and saltier than cream skimmed from milk. Its sweetness is used to make butter-flavored foods as they have a more robust flavor. Also, they are cheaper to make than other sweet creams.
11. Used in the compost pit
Due to whey’s acidic nature, it is used as a fermentation starter in the compound pile. Whey is added to the pit at least after every one week. Whey introduces enzymes in the pit that catalyst the rotting process.
12. In the garden
Whey contains nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium, and other minerals that are essential for healthy plants. Adding whey to the farm-containing crops helps them to benefit from this whey’s minerals. Whey is also used in water plants as a substitute for water. This is possible where the crops are grown on a small scale, and the water may be unavailable.
13. Making beverages
Due to the sweet property of whey, it can therefore be used to prepare beverages. Yogurt is an excellent example of a beverage that can be made using whey. Whey adds a sweet or sour flavor to the beverage depending on the type of whey used. Also, whey itself can be used as a beverage without adding any other recipe.
14. Making ricotta cheese
Ricotta cheese is a whey-based product. This is a homemade cheese that is easy to make. The whey is heated to eliminate the raw enzymes, and then it can be used in making ricotta cheese.
15. Making soups
Whey may be used to prepare food that calls for soup and be used in place of water. Whey-based soup is delicious and sweeter as compared to when water is used. Additionally, whey may be used to thicken the soup as it is a thick liquid. Lastly, whey itself can be served as a soup.
16. Cooking oatmeal and rice
Whey is used for cooking oatmeal and rice as a flavor or as a water substitute. As a water substitute, whey is added to the cooking process of food. It makes the food delicious and nutritious as it is rich in minerals and nutrients. When used as a flavor, whey is added at the end of cooking to ensure it does not lose its natural properties because of heat.
17. Hair treatment
Whey is also used as a shampoo substitute. It helps to treat disorders related to the hair like slow growth rate and dandruff. The minerals contained in whey are responsible for improving the condition of the hair. It is a cheaper, non-toxic homemade shampoo as it involves a low cost of production.
18. Dressing up a sandwich
Whey is used in making mayonnaise that is spread on the sandwich. A whey-mayonnaise requires a few recipes to make and easy to make. It improves the taste of the sandwich.
19. Meat tenderizer
Whey is used to make a marinade that can be used to make the meat tender. The acidic nature of whey marinade helps make the meat tender and makes the cooking process easy.