Yes WHEY!!!!

Little Miss Muffet sat on her tuffet (A footstool or low seat), eating her curds (like cottage cheese) and WHEY.

Why whey? What IS whey?

Whey is the cloudy, yellowish liquid that is leftover after milk is curdled. It’s packed full of protein, vitamins, minerals, and enzymes.

It’s really good for you and a total shame that it’s basically seen as a waste (byproduct) from making cheese; most people who have it just throw it away. Too bad.

Although I haven’t made my own cheese yet, I hope to someday (yes, I have dreams of having a goat…or at least access to fresh, raw, cow’s milk), and have heard about this stuff you end up with.  And when we began to enjoy the wonderful products from Beyond Organic, we experienced drinking flavored whey drinks as sports drinks (wonderfully refreshing and replenishing).  Now Beyond Organic has come out with Suero Gold, which is a pure whey beverage, and I did a little research to figure out what I could do with it (besides, of course, drinking it).

I saw this article called 16 Ways to Use Your Whey, which inspired me.

So far, Hubby has used it to make some yummy fermented sour craut, and some soaked almonds which were then seasoned and dehydrated to make crunchy again.

And tonight seemed like a good night for a pancake dinner. Although I usually make these whole wheat pancakes, I figured it was time to try some made with whey. They were great!

I found this recipe for pancakes with whey when I was looking for things to make with my Beyond Organic Suero Gold.

It came from King Arthur brand flour’s website, and here is their article on whey along with the recipe.

Brinna Sands reports that in Iceland whey, known as “mysa,” is sold in quart containers as a thirst quencher. It is actually very refreshing, similar to buttermilk but thinner; if it has been drained from a sweetened skyr, the whey is slightly sweet as well.
In this country, whey has generally been considered a “waste product” of cheese making. Large amounts of it have been “dumped” in waterways, creating general havoc with their ecosystems. But people here have missed the boat with whey, since it has several nutritional benefits that are quite substantial. It contains almost all the calcium found in milk (1 cup contains 1/3 of the calcium you need daily). The flip side of this is that once the whey has been drained from milk, the resulting products, whether yogurt cheese or cottage cheese or other cheese, contain only about 15% of the calcium found in a whole milk product. This doesn’t mean they are nutritionally empty but it does mean that these particular products are not good sources of calcium.

One cup of whey also contains 1/6 of the potassium you need on a daily basis (almost as much as in a banana). This is another reason it functions well as a thirst quencher, particularly for athletes who have an increased need for potassium. And finally, it contains about 25% of the protein, and is fat-free, as well.

The flavor of whey takes a bit of getting used to. If you like buttermilk, you’ll probably find it very pleasant. But it you’re a bit more tentative about it, you can mix it with juice, or flavored carbonated water… or use it in recipes.

Once you use whey in baking, your mind will start spinning with all the places you can substitute it. Its benefits in baking are two-fold. Wherever you might ordinarily have used water, whey is a nutritional plus. And its natural acidity reacts perfectly with baking soda to produce all the leavening (carbon dioxide bubbles) you need.

The reaction of baking soda with whey creates pancakes that are extremely light.

I doubled this recipe for my family of 7.

2 cups  Whole Wheat Flour

1 to 2 tablespoons sugar, honey, maple syrup, etc.
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups whey
2 large eggs
2 to 4 tablespoon vegetable oil

Mix the dry ingredients together in a mixing bowl.

In a smaller bowl, beat together the whey, eggs and vegetable oil.

Blend the liquid ingredients with the dry taking about 20 seconds. (Don’t overdo it. Pan-cake batter is like muffin batter; a light hand in mixing means a light pancake on the plate.)

Cook on a cast iron skillet, if you have one. (Cast iron is the original non-stick cookware. Once it’s seasoned, you need only to grease it very lightly for the first batch of pancakes. It also maintains an even heat so you’re less likely to lose a batch of pancakes through scorching.)

Enjoy!

Back To Basics: Why Cast Iron Is the Best Cookware Choice

Non-stick coated pans have always been in my kitchen, for as long as I can remember.  Have you ever tried to cook on anything else?  For many years, I had never even seen a non-non-stick pan….and the first time I experienced attempting to fry an egg on one ( I think it was stainless steel), I vowed never to do it again, if I could help it.

And then I learned about health.  And toxins.  And how toxins affect  your health (I mean in a negative way, of course).  And I looked at my non-stick pans and pretended I didn’t know that my food may be poisoning me just for the fact that I’d cooked it on Teflon (actually called Polytetrafluoroethylene or PTFE.)

Now, according to Wikipedia, Teflon does not begin to break down and release these toxic chemicals until it reaches 500F.  However, the EWG (Environmental Working Group) states, “In two to five minutes on a conventional stovetop, cookware coated with Teflon and other non-stick surfaces can exceed temperatures at which the coating breaks apart and emits toxic particles and gases linked to hundreds, perhaps thousands, of pet bird deaths and an unknown number of human illnesses each year, according to tests commissioned by Environmental Working Group (EWG).

Exposure to PTFE can create problems like low birth-weight babies, thyroid and liver issues, elevated cholesterol levels, as well as weakened immune systems.

Now, I’m not saying that using Teflon coated pans is the thing that’s most harmful in your life and that you should concentrate on changing your cookware ahead of  making other changes, such as avoiding aspartame, high fructose corn syrup, or MSG.  It isn’t.

However,  I’m all into getting back to basics lately.  I’m reading through the Little House On The Prairie books with my kids, and I just love the idea of going back to the way things used to be (not that I’m about to give up my Kindle or decide that I no longer want an iPhone or an iPad).  I want old fashioned skills, and as part of my living simply and owning intentionally, I want to have quality items that will not only last, but can be used in a variety of ways.  And if the thing can be used in a survival/off the grid scenario, all the better.

My new cast iron skillet definitely meets those criteria.

And did you know that cast iron IS non-stick if it’s seasoned properly?  Another bonus is that bits of iron make their way into your food and into your body, helping to protect you against anemia, which for most people is a good thing.

I was a little intimidated by the whole “needing to season the pan” thing, and then I saw this brand of cast iron that comes already seasoned, ready to use.  I’d been thinking about it more and more, especially when I tried to make my whole wheat pancakes on the skillet that’s in the new place where we’re staying, and had a really tough time due to the fact that the pan was completely warped and the batter kept running all over the place.  So when I walked into Target and saw it for sale for under $20, it was a no-brainer.

I wonder what Ma Ingalls’ favorite thing to cook on hers was.

For more info, here’s an article from Natural News called “Ten reasons to try cast iron cooking.”