Not to be confused with whey protein powder (which is basically the dry concentrated form), whey is the watery ‘stuff’ you’ll find sitting on top of your whole plain yogurt.
While it is best know for being a starter culture for home made cultured veggies and condiments, whey has health benefits all on it’s own!
Here are some of the health benefits of using whey:
- 1 tbsp of whey in a glass of water with or before meals will help digestion
- Use ¼ cup whey in a glass of water with a pinch of unrefined salt for better water absorption
- Keeps joints movable and ligaments elastic
“For stomach ailments, 1 tbsp 3 times per day will feed the stomach glands and they will work well again” (Hanna Kroeger in Ageless Remedies from Mother’s Kitchen)
Wondering what else you can do with it?
- Substitute it in any recipe that calls for water or milk (such as salad dressings, sauces, muffins, bread, pancakes etc.)
- Instead of milk in smoothies.
- To soak grains, lentils and beans for better digestibility.
- Use it to cook your grains, pasta, rice or oatmeal with.
- Use it in soups or stew when you don’t have broth.
- Use it to marinate your meats for better digestibility.
- Feed it to your plants.
- Compost it!
Click here to learn how to make some for yourself!
How to Make Labne (yogurt cream cheese balls)
This recipe is so easy and so to die for! Homemade yogurt cream cheese is healthier and easier to digest than store bought cream cheese.
What you will need:
1 quart of yogurt
unrefined salt (to taste)
fresh chopped herbs
pressed garlic (to taste)
How to do it:
Step 1: Drip the whey from 1 quart of yogurt for 2-5 days (click here for more detailed instructions for making whey and cream cheese)
Step 2: Stir in a ½ tsp or more of unrefined salt and garlic to taste and fresh herbs of your choice (if you have some on hand).
Step 3: Roll into balls and drop into a 500ml jar.
Step 4: Pour olive oil on top.
Step 5: Store in the cupboard or on your countertop.
Enjoy by scooping out balls as a side dish or spread on bread or crackers!
When you are done, strain the olive oil with a coffee filter and use to make salad dressings (no need to let it go to waste)!
The finished product does not need to be refrigerated as the olive oil will act as a preservative. The longer it sits, the more sour it gets, so if you don’t love the sour taste, then make sure to consume it within 3-5 days. Honestly in this house, we never make it to day 3!
This recipe is great to wow a crowd at potlucks or to gift to family and friends for the holidays. 1 quart of yogurt will make two small jars (as shown in the photo).
Wondering what to do with the leftover whey?
1) Enjoy this article for more ways to use whey!
Looking for more kid friendly cultured food ideas?
1) Enjoy this list of kid-friendly ferments : )
2) Join the Cultured Kids e-course to get the recipes, video demonstrations, inspiring audio trainings and more!
What else do you make with your yogurt cream cheese? Share your ideas below!
How to Make Yogurt “Cream Cheese” & Whey
Cream cheese is nice, but yogurt cream cheese is even better (and FREE of nasty additives)!
What you will need:
plain full fat yogurt
a cheesecloth or nut milk bag (or you can use a tea towel).
optional: unbleached coffee filter
Grab a medium sized bowl, your nut milk bag (or cheese cloth) and the yogurt. Pour the yogurt into the nut milk bag (or put a strainer over the bowl if you are using a cheesecloth). The liquid portion of the yogurt is the whey and it will begin to drip through into the bowl.
You will need to hang your bag over the bowl so that the process can occur over a period of 4-8 hours (depending on the texture you want your yogurt cream cheese to have). When I use cheesecloth and a strainer, I actually let the strain happen for a few days inside the fridge.
* To make sure that no milk solids have dripped through, do a second strain with a coffee filter as shown in the photo below.
Keep the whey and the cream cheese in separate glass containers and store in the fridge.
The cream cheese will last from 5-7 days and the whey will last for up to 6 months!
You will use the whey to culture your ferments.
You can use the cream cheese to spread on toast, to make cheesecake, cream cheese icing or whatever you normally use cream cheese for. Mmmmm…..imagine probiotic desserts!! A whole new realm of guilt free pleasure is available to you!!
Wondering what else you can do with your cream cheese?
1) Make labne (spreadable yogurt cream cheese balls)
What about the whey?
1) Enjoy this article for more ways to use whey!
2) Make these kid-friendly ferments : )
3) Join the Cultured Kids e-course to get the recipes, video demonstrations, inspiring audio trainings and more!
Did you know that your baby is “cultured“ at Birth?
As our babies are being birthed, they are literally being “cultured“ by our vaginal flora.
“The medical science shows that the flora in the vagina comes from the gut. What lives in the woman`s bowel will live in her vagina… in women with recurrent thrush, no matter how many powerful anti fungal topical preparations are used, the thrush always comes back. Until she gets rid of it in the bowel, she is not going to be free from vaginal thrush. But why does this woman have an overgrowth of fungi in her bowel? Because she does not have a healthy gut flora to protect her from this fungus and many other microbial invaders. This woman has a condition called gut dysbiosis. She will not only have an overgrowth of Candida albicans in her gut but lots of other pathogenic microbes, causing many other health problems.“
Dr. Natasha Campbell McBride MD, MMedSci(neurology), MMedSci(nutrition)
Babies aquire their particular microflora balance at birth through the skin, eyes and mucous membranes of their mouth and nose, as they descend through the birth canal.
What happens when moms have gut dysbiosis (an imbalance of good vs. bad bacteria in the gut)?
Mother passes on her own gut flora (for better or for worse) to her baby. The state of mom’s flora has the potential to either promote healthy digestion, immunity and mental capacities or it can compromise her baby’s health right from birth causing a lot of unnecessary pain and suffering for both. Click here to read the article ‘How to prevent colic, diaper rash (and more) in baby’
Besides having a history of antiobiotic use (antibiotics kill our good bacteria leaving no competiton to keep the bad or pathogenic types in check) there are many other digestive, immune and mental indications that we need to restore our bacterial balance (or inner ecosystem).
Here are some key symptoms:
□ allergies and food sensitivities
□ vaginal yeast infections
□ difficulty losing weight
□ bi polar
□ OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder)
□ dyslexia or dyspraxia
□ poor concentration
□ sugar/carb cravings
□ poor digestion and digestive disorders
□ acid reflux
□ sleeping poorly and night sweats
□ joint inflammation and stiffness
□ bad breath
□ gum disease and dental problems
□ frequent colds and flus
□ frequent infections
□ chronic yeast problems
□ fungal infections
□ menstrual difficulties
If you suffer from 1 or many of the above symptoms you might be wondering how you can find the resources and the support you need to learn how to heal, restore or improve your current microflora balance, right?
Follow this step-by-step guide to improving your microbial balance in pregnancy:
- Eliminate white sugar and flour from your diet. If that sounds incredibly difficult or impossible, click here to read the article: How to get off Bread and Sugar-and by the way it is not your fault!
- Avoid natural sources of concentrated sugar ie: dried fruit, tropical fruits like bananas and mangoes etc. Instead include sour fruits like kiwi, berries of all kinds and green apples.
- Acidify your colon (good bacteria thrive in a lactic acidic rich environment)- eat plenty of cultured foods– start with the kid friendly ones if you are nervous about getting started.
- Eliminate all bleached, refined and deodorized fats like: margarine & vegetable oil food products like corn, soy and canola oil from your diet. Replace them with traditional fats like butter and coconut oil for baking and sauteing while using olive oil (raw only) for salad dressing.
- Alkalize your blood- modern people are often overfed, yet undernourished. Mineralize deficient blood by eating plenty of cooked green vegetables, crispy seeds, gelatinous bone broth and seaweeds.
- Take a probiotic pill with a wide variety of beneficial bacteria (10-14 or more strains) throughout your entire pregnancy and during breastfeeding.
- Upgrade the quality of the animal products that you consume to being antibiotic free, from compassionately raised and free range or grass fed animals.
- Drink, bathe and shower in water that has been filtered of chlorine (which is also unfortunately an antibiotic).
These practices must be adopted by couples planning to conceive, and by pregnant and breastfeeding women -and moms seeking to prevent common childhood disorders such as asthma, eczema, colic and tummy aches while promoting optimal immune health in their developing baby and children.
For people who don’t have severe digestive problems or a long history of antibiotic use, the aforementioned recommendations will be adequate to restore the gut flora in most cases.
However, in more severe situations such as autism, IBS and other chronic or persistent cases of digestive distress and mental illness, the family must in addition adhere to a grain free diet for 6 months to 2 ½ years to restore the gut back to its optimal state of health.
For more information about how to get started on that path check out our private consulting services or ‘Getting Started with GAPS’ e-course.
Want to learn more?
1) Watch Dr. Natasha Campbell Mc Bride chat about gut health.
What should you do now, if you didn’t know about this before having your kids? These same steps apply for anyone who suffers from microbial imbalance. It is never too late to improve your own and your family’s health!
Want to learn more and how to make cultured foods at home that please even the kids (and kids at heart)? If you said yes, then check out our Cultured Kids e-course page where we show you a video of how we transform a standard North American lunch into a wholesome probiotic feast!!!
Did you know that cultured foods are nature’s probiotics?
Cultured foods, unbeknownst to many of us are actually a missing food group! That means in order to provide your child with optimal digestive and immune health, it is essential to make cultured foods a part of your family’s diet.
Before refrigeration, our ancestors used lactic acid fermentation in the form of cultured foods as the original method of food preservation. In the old days, we simply consumed probiotics through the food we ate.
Today, though, because of canning, refrigeration and the processed foods- we are missing an essential aspect of our original diet- probiotics!
To add insult to injury, with the overuse of antibiotics, our babes are not only having their beneficial bacteria wiped out, but they also have no way of replenishing their stores of good bacteria because eating cultured foods went out of fashion along with other ways that ensure them a good supply – like breastmilk!
Luckily, cultured foods are making a comeback! Not only because they are an essential part of a healthy diet, but because they taste great!
Got picky eaters?
The secret to getting our kids on cultured foods is to start them young so that they get used to the ‘sour’ flavour.
But what if your kids are already older and you’ve just discovered the benefits of cultured foods for your family?
Here are 29 kid-friendly ways that you can get cultured foods into your child’s diet (great ideas for picky or timid adults too)!
- model it for them by eating cultured foods yourself!
- kefir juice
- other fermented beverages (Kefir water, Kombucha, kefir milk)
- start with the juice of cultured veggies by pouring it on food or in warm soup
- pickles and cultured carrots are the most kid- loved cultured veggies
- chop other cultured veggies into very small chunks and add to dishes like salads, bean and grain salads etc.
- transform all your standard north american condiments like ketchup, mustard, relish, mayo and barbecue sauce into lacto fermented versions
- make smoothies to hide kefir milk and kefir water
- add carrots and ginger to your favourite cultured recipes to add a bit of sweet flavour for the kids
- make dips with cultured dairy or bean ones with whey or the juice of cultured veggies mixed in.
- put whey in your child’s water with greenleaf stevia and cherry or orange extract for a creamsicle flavour!
- mix cultured veggies with creme fraiche or mayo and honey with dried fruit
- kefir jello
- miso soup or traditionally brewed tamari
- use a mandolin to slice veggies, culture them and then dehydrate into chips
- creme fraiche or kefir cream in soup and on everything
- home brewed yogurt
- cultured fruit (chutneys, jams and fruit sauce for pancakes!)
- cultured applesauce
- cultured fruit leather
- sourdough bread and crackers
- dressings, dips and sauces made with lacto fermented beverages
- raw cheese
- cultured butter
- popsicles, kefir milk ice cream
- sourdough cookies, cakes, muffins and biscuits
- apple kraut (apple to cabbage 1:1)
- lassi (yogurt drink)
- mix sauerkraut with creme fraiche and cultured ketchup in lieu of salsa
BONUS! The latest one in our home is Kefir Juice & Kefir Milk (1:1)
Want to learn how to make cultured foods for the whole family at home?
Click here to join myself and Adrienne Percy from the comfort of your home to learn how in our Cultured Kids e-course and watch us transform a standard North American lunch into a wholesome probiotic feast!!!
What are your ideas? Tell me and I will add them to the list!
This post was part of Monday Mania!