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.
About the Author...
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 orderâ€¦well maybe ice cream first).