Whey is the slightly yellowish liquid that gets leftover when you make cottage cheese (paneer). It’s also the liquid component in yoghurt (dahi ka pani) – if you strain yoghurt to make it thicker, the water you are left with is whey.
If you’ve been throwing away leftover whey – stop! This liquid is loaded with natural proteins and has several health benefits:
• Builds muscle strength.
• Provides cellular energy.
• Improves immunity.
• Prevents diseases like cancer and HIV.
• Lowers blood pressure to healthy levels without side effects, unlike blood pressure medications.
• Reduces the risk of thrombosis, thereby helping to prevent heart attacks and strokes.
• Improves prostate health and prevents prostate cancer.
• Promotes healthy gut bacteria and inhibits harmful bacteria.
• Cleanses the bladder and helps prevent bladder infections.
• Corrects hormonal imbalances.
• Slows down ageing.
• Promotes weight loss.
• Improves digestion, in a manner similar to fibre.
• Supports healthy kidney function.
The protein in whey is so precious that many gym-goers and body builders consume whey protein powder on a daily basis. That is artificial whey however, which has both health benefits and side effects. The whey in paneer and yoghurt is a natural and healthy form of whey that has no side effects.
Here are 11 uses for the whey that gets leftover when you make paneer or strain yoghurt.
1. Use it to knead roti ka atta.
Instead of using water to make your dough (atta), use whey instead. Your rotis will have an extra helping of protein. Same goes for thepla, or any other atta.
2. Add it to fruit and vegetable juices.
If you drink juice every morning, use the whey to make the juice instead of water.
3. Add it to Indian gravies.
Most Indian gravies have a sour element that comes from either tomatoes, amchur,imli, kokam or dahi. You can use whey to substitute any of these elements.
4. Put it in upama.
Whey has a nice mild flavour that goes well with upama. If you normally put either tomato or yoghurt in upama, you can replace it with whey. If you don’t use either, you can replace the water content in your upama with whey.
5. Use it to cook rice, pasta or veggies.
If you have lots of whey and need to use it up quickly, use it to boil your rice, pasta or veggies.
6. Incorporate it into your baking.
If you’re baking something, replace the water content in the recipe with whey to make it a little healthier. Cakes, pancakes, breads or muffins – whey goes well with all of them!
7. Add it to soups.
If you’re making soup, use whey as the base instead of water or stock. Check out this easy recipe for whey and paneer soup.
8. Rinse your hair with it.
The protein in the whey will do wonders for your hair! Shampoo your hair and then apply the whey to it. Rub it into your scalp and hair gently, let it sit for 10 minutes and then rinse it off with lukewarm water. Comb your hair as it dries, to prevent it from sticking together.
9. Take a whey bath to soften your skin.
Some spas actually offer whey baths, because whey cleanses, softens, moisturises and tones the skin. It is gentle, anti-microbial and slightly acidic, which is good for the pH balance of your scalp, hair and skin. If you have a bathtub, put 1 – 2 cups of whey in your bath water and soak in it for 20 minutes. If you don’t, soak a towel in whey and apply it to your skin. Let it be for 15 – 20 minutes and then rinse it off. You can do this as often as you like.
10. Feed it to your dogs.
Add some whey to your dog’s food to give him/her an extra protein boost. The whey can be added to dry dog food or a cooked meal for your pooch.
11. Pour it into the plants.
Dilute the whey with water and pour it into your plants. Diluting it is important because whey is too acidic by itself and could burn your plants.