The Nourisher - Editor’s Blog

When we got married the registry wouldn’t let me put Super Hero as my occupation, they put Home Duties on our marriage certificate instead. But I AM a Super Hero and my Super Hero name is…… The Nourisher.

Benefits of Whey

By Joanne Hay

Whey has been used for centuries by European, Middle Eastern and Asian peoples. In Iceland, whey, the bi-product of curd making, was kept in barrels. It was used to preserve food such as sausages, whale meat and blubber. Icelanders also drank it with water as a digestive tonic, much like other in traditions people drank ale.

Whey is a great source of minerals and digestive bacteria. It is useful for fermenting veges and recipes like Kimchi, Sauerkraut or Beet Kvass (a fermented drink made from beetroot). Or just to drink when you have an upset stomach. My friends are so grateful when I stop their vomitting or diarrhoea with a bottle of my home made whey.Here’s How you Make it:

You can either use Raw Milk or ordinary organic milk. If you use raw milk, just leave the milk out at room temperature, in the cupboard is best, and the naturally occuring bacteria will turn it into cheese and whey for you. If you can only find organic pasteurised milk, use Kefir to ferment it into cheese and whey.

You will know when you have cheese and whey when the liquid in the bottom of the bottle become transparent and floating on the top is a thick, whitish glob. I will take about 3 days in summer, maybe longer in winter.

Pour the whole bottle into a cheese cloth (a big tea towel will do - cotton drill not towelling) over a strainer/colander which sits atop a bowl or saucepan. The whey will drip through, leaving the cheese in the cloth. Make sure there is enough space under the strainer so the cheese won’t just sit in the whey. It will take a few hours.

Put a rubber band around the cheese cloth (don’t squeeze) and hang it up from the clothes line or in the bathroom until the whey stops dripping from it.

Keep the whey in the fridge in an airtight bottle.

Often I am asked about dried whey as a food supplement or to use in fermenting. Do not use it in fermenting. And as a food, be careful.
As far as I know there are no whey products in Australia which are dried at an appropriate temperature - lower than 65 deg C - in order to protect vital nutrients and avoid changing the proteins into dangerous neurotoxins. There is one exception - Mercola’s Whey Healthier protein powder. If you know any more or find any in the ads on the side bar please let us know.

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Joanne Hay, Editor of Nourished Magazine, Chief Nourisher and Mother of three is very grateful to live in Byron Bay and be able to share all she has learned about Nourishment. She has trained as an Acupuncturist (unfinished), Kinesiologist (finished) and parent (never finished). She serves the Weston A Price Foundation as a chapter leader. She loves sauerkraut, kangaroo tail stew, home made ice cream, her husband Wes and her kids Isaiah, Brynn and Ronin (in no particular order…well maybe ice cream first).

COMMENTS - 26 Responses

  1. Can you please tell me why my beet kvass is not thick and bubbly as it should be? I have followed the instructions to the letter. Should I leave it out longer than 2 days? I was afraid it would go mouldy if left out of the fridge longer. It is slightly zingy but watery and not bubbly. I want it to be the healthiest possible as I have been pretty sick.
    I wish I knew someone in Perth WA who was interested in the Nourishing Traditions way of eating and living.

  2. Barbara,
    There are so many different variables in fermentation. Luckily, beetroots are so cheap, you can practise often.

    My first suggestion is that you try adding more beetroot. The bacteria needs to eat quite a lot of sugar to create lactic acid (the sourness) and carbon dioxide (the fizziness).
    I have also noticed beet kvass needs very fresh beetroots to become fizzy.
    You also need to take into consideration the temperature. In winter, I leave my ferments for longer and even don’t refrigerate after the first three days. In summer, your beet kvass may fizz up quicker.
    Keep experimenting and enjoy the journey. Soon you’ll have a great relationship with the bacteria in your kitchen. I talk to my little bugs all the time and tell them how grateful I am for their help. I know I’m a crazy witch. AT least I won’t get burnt for it this lifetime.

  3. When making the beet kvass it says to secure lids. What about the CO2 gas ? I have seen devices for allowing the gas to escape. Confused.

  4. Don, I’ve never heard of beet kvass exploding. Even in the tropical heat of Byron Bay. We like our Kvass very bubbly like champagne. It’s not necessary though. You can just cover it with a cloth.

    Jan 26th, 2008 at 1:31 am

    Hi, I hope it’s ok for me to ask a question here. I am in UK, am new to Nourishing Traditions and am following all every which way I can to heal myself in this marvellous way. I am lucky to have found a source of raw milk, have made whey and am experimenting with beet kvass.
    My question is ; my kvass has a film all over the top which is obviously mold as it leaves a black rim around the edge. I find I cannot skim it all off and it worries me. Could it be my whey is at fault? It is not completely clear i.e. there is some milky stuff floating around. I made it around 2 months ago and it has been in the fridge since.
    BTW - I am thrilled to find this website - thanks so much to those concerned.

  6. Ann, if you’re worried, try it again with fresh whey. Some, like Henriette can’t abide any mould at all. Many, however, can.

    Jan 29th, 2008 at 2:26 am

    Many Thanks Joanne,
    I hadn’t realised that mould is a (likely?)norm with kvass. We’re hopefully getting some more fresh raw milk in a few days time so will do as you say.
    Trying to have a few ounzes with each meal so going through quite a bit.
    It’s wonderful to be in touch with others also using traditional remedies and methods.

  8. Does anyone know if it’s ok to drink the whey from cheese making? I’ve used rennet when making the cheese so I’m assuming there is some left over in the whey. Will it harm anything?


  9. Try eliminating water when making the beet kvass and substituting Rejuvelac. Also, try to use whey from raw milk. I like to also add lots of whole spices like cloves and allspice. For the first 24 hours, dont seal the jar, just cover it with cheesecloth. Seal it for the last day and it will build up pressure. Open over a sink, it will be carbonated. Then test for thickness - it will be thicker, like a thin gravy and darker, flat and a bit salty. Seal again and refrigerate!

  10. Wow, I’m coming to your place for dinner.. That sounds absolutely delicious. Whole cloves hey? what about nutmeg? ginger? I never thought of adding spices for taste. Beet Kvass is like goji berries, it has many different tastes: sweet, sour, salty, it’s just missing bitter and pungent. Cloves and allspice would add these tastes.

  11. I have never made whey before and was wondering how long whey can last in the frigerator? Thanks, Christine

  12. It gets more and more sour as it ages. I’ve used it in place of vinegar in broth when it’s really old (6 weeks). I’ve only ever thrown it out when I couldn’t fit it in the fridge any more.

  13. I would like to know your recipe for using whey to get rid of diarrhea. I am hoping to use whey to prevent diarrhea in my goat kids.

  14. Greetings The Nourisher, Jo I have some home made cheese/whey can you givr me a few tips when using both? What can I add to the cheese ? Can I use the whey in a smoothy? Do Ijust keep the whey raw and treat as a drink? Thanks Beautiful…….Love Us 5 xx

  15. Meaghan, use it in soups and stocks, drink it straight or add it to smoothies as you suggest. The cheese is nice just with salt and fresh herbs. I like to make Sally Fallon’s all raw cheese cake with it.

  16. Can I just double check with you, we have some raw milk that is slightly sour.. To make soft cheese with this I leave it out of the fridge for a couple of days and then strain? Really?
    Also do you have a link to the beet kvass recipe?

  17. I am a little confused as to the nutritional value of whey leftover from the cheese making process. Earlier posts discuss whey made without cooking. I just made a batch of fresh mozzarella using organic milk, vegetable rennet, and citric acid. The temperature of the leftover liquid whey did not exceed 180F. Does this type of whey have any nutritional value? It tastes sour, like the liquid you find on the top of store bought yogurt.

  18. 18. Cathy Mifsud
    Dec 31st, 2008 at 10:13 am

    Helen. just Google ” beet Kvass nourished mag” for beet kvass recipes and feed back.

  19. Just in regards to my last post, never mind, I did a bit of googling and mixed in a few spoons of yoghurt into the milk, then left in on the bench for few days, then strained it, and… I made some cheese! And its delicious. I guess I expected it to go off and stink or at least taste yuck so Im amazed!

  20. 20. Uta Bauer
    Jan 1st, 2009 at 8:02 pm

    This thread started with Barbara asking about beet kvass and people in Perth WA interested in Nourishing Traditions. There are plenty Barbara but it can be a bit tricky to unearth themsince there is no local group that meets. The only Weston Price chapter leaders are down in Albany. Contact details on the WPF website. Try also City Farm Organic Farmers’ Market on Saturday. There is a woman who sells ferments and other products that Sally Fallon would approve of. She also sells her products in various organic and wholefoods shops around Perth eg Organic On Charles, Peaches and Manna Wholefoods as Uniqueorganic. Jude Blereau runs courses in how to cook with wholefoods and is influenced by Weston Price philosophy. She has 2 cook books out as well and I see now even a blog.

  21. Hello
    I have just had my first attempt at making whey….I left my raw milk out for a couple of days and then strained it this morning. The liquid was looking milky still and I wondered if I had left it long enough. Anyway I thought I would let it drain and then pour it out into a glass jar so I could see it better (straining into a ss pot). It has been draining since this morning and I have just put the cheesy stuff in a jar. I went to pour the whey into a jar and it is a clearish liquid with a white curdy stuff on the bottom of the pot. However there is also a pinkish tinge to the top of it and some pinkish blobs on it….is it off?? Should I ditch the lot and try again??/ I am new to all of this so am unsure if I have done something wrong…left it draining too long. too exposed, clean teatowel not clean enough???
    Your help would be gratefully accepted and I won’t consume any yet….it really doesn’t look good but what do I know lol

  22. Julie, sounds like you strained too soon. The milkiness would be what has now accumulated at the top of the whey. I’ve seen pinkish bacteria in my whey before and it hasn’t caused me any grief. Just strain and give it a go. As will all new foods, take it slow. Some who start consuming fermented foods have reactions when they take too much at once. If you’re really concerned (and your nose would know) you can add it to a bone broth and cook any scaries away but keep the minerals and protein. enjoy.

  23. I live in U.S, and raw milk is illegal to sell, so I follow a recipe I got from my greek brother-in-law. I use store bought pasteurized-homogenized milk, bring it to boil, wait until its not boiling hot, add few tablespoons of store bought plain yogurt, mix with milk, cover with towel and leave it overnight. It becomes very thick, and I use clean paint strainer to strain, until desired consistency of yogurt )which I love. I also save whey, but it’s so much, that I can’t drink it all. My question is , what’s the nutritional value of both, the yogurt and the whey? Your reply would be greatly appreciated. Donna

  24. I came across your website as I was looking for help in making whey for my first try and would love your insight. Here’s what I did…poured raw cow’s milk into a quart size mason jar, laid a kitchen towel over the top and used a jar ring to hold the cloth in place (no actual lid though). Then I set it on the counter and it’s been a few days and the only real change I can see is the separation of cream on top but the liquid on the bottom still looks very milky. I understand whey is supposed to be clearish (I make kefir alot and my kefir always separates into a definite “whey” at the bottom). Also, on top there is some sort of fuzz developing. I wasn’t sure if this fuzz means I did something wrong or if it’s part of the beneficial bacteria in the curds. Any help is appreciated. Thanks!

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