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How to make whey in 3 easy steps. Could it really be so simple? I’ve been wanting to start making fermented foods for almost a year now. I stepped into the world of sourdough last year and have managed to keep my original starter alive for over a year now.
Whey and kefir and kombucha. What foreign language were these people speaking? I’d never heard of half of these terms. The mother? Mine lives up the street thank you very much.
My goal this summer is to begin my fermented foods journey. Which means you get to come with me because I like to share that way. 🙂
I decided to start myself easy and in the most inexpensive way as possible. A fermented fruit syrup sounded like super delicious, easy (you just let it sit on the counter for 2 days, I can handle that), and something I know my family will consume. (They’re not always as excited for these new food adventures as I am)
I needed whey. Where would I get whey? Turns out, I’ve had why in my fridge for my entire life and didn’t know it. That liquid stuff on the top of your yogurt, it’s whey. I know, shut the front door, it’s been there all along!
Making whey from yogurt is super easy. Like I couldn’t believe it. How had I not been doing this before. Oh, and the yogurt cheese you get afterwards. I’m talking swoon worthy folks.
There’s a few things to know before you get started.
Only use plain yogurt with live cultures. I prefer organic, but that’s up to you. The most important part is no added flavors or sugars and it must say contains live cultures. Full fat is best, but if you’ve just got low fat, it will work as well. I used Organic Nancy’s Full Fat Yogurt.
2. Place 2 cups of yogurt in the center of the towel or cloth. Bring up all the corners of the towel and secure with a large rubber band or an elastic hair tie. I didn’t have any rubber bands and the hair tie works great.
3. Hang the yogurt from a kitchen cabinet knob or a hook with a glass bowl underneath to catch the liquid. Leave for 4 to 8 hours.
Want to know the other cool part of this? You have left behind a wonderful thick creamy yogurt cheese. Oh the things to make with this cheese. Whip in some herbs for a spread, or mix in some berries or jam to spread on toast or bagel, or use as cream cheese in a delicious muffin recipe… My husband loved this spread on crackers and can’t wait to try it as a garlic spread on bread. Think a cross between cream cheese and sour cream.
Cost break down. I paid $4.67 for my quart of yogurt. I used half of the yogurt to make whey. The whey will make at least four recipes and I still get to use the yogurt cheese (my hubbies most favorite part.), which means $.58 for the cost of my whey for each recipe. Pretty stinking cool, huh?
Have you priced life pro-biotics in the store? I’m saving a ton of money doing it the old-fashioned way.
And don’t worry that you’ve left your yogurt out for that many hours. It’s totally fine to eat.
You might be wondering why you’d want to make fermented foods. Fermented foods are incredibly healthy for us. Sadly, it’s a tradition that is quickly being lost in this fast food convenience way of life we live.
Fermenting is a way to preserve food. The good bacteria breaks down the food so it’s easier for us to digest, often improves the food so we can absorb the nutrients in it more efficiently, and it produces good bacteria which most of our tummies are sorely in need of.
Check out my Pinterest board on Fermented Foods for recipes and cool fermenting tips.
Do you make any fermented foods?
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Melissa K. Norris inspires people's faith and pioneer roots with her books, podcast, and blog. Melissa lives with her husband and two children in their own little house in the big woods in the foothills of the North Cascade Mountains. When she's not wrangling chickens and cattle, you can find her stuffing Mason jars with homegrown food and playing with flour and sugar in the kitchen.