Stay Connected

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

What I Do with the Leftover Waste from Homemade Yogurt

This afternoon, I am making more yogurt. We go through a 3-quart batch of yogurt every two weeks. Homemade yogurt has more "waste" for the consumer than commercial yogurt. I'm sure there is "waste" with commercial yogurt, too. It's probably just processed and sold off as an additive (such as whey) to be used in other products. Have you ever read the ingredients' list on a box of mac and cheese? The cheese sauce mix contains these dairy products: whey, milkfat, and milk protein concentrate. The whey (and perhaps the milkfat and/or milk protein concentrate) is a by-product from some other dairy food processing, such as cheese-making or yogurt-making.

Anyway, when I make my own yogurt I end up with waste during the yogurt-making process and then throughout the month. During yogurt-making, there is a point when I'm filling my jars and I strain the heated milk to produce a smooth texture. Stuff like the skin that develops on the surface of heated milk is removed in the straining. There is nothing wrong with milk skin, except that it's not a desirable texture when in yogurt. (Oddly, I love milk skin in pudding!) I set the stuff from straining aside in a container for the fridge. In addition, throughout the month, homemade yogurt seems to separate into yogurt and whey (the watery stuff that some yogurt gives off). It's been my experience that higher-quality yogurt will yield more whey as it ages than lower quality yogurt. Perhaps this is because the higher quality yogurts are made with fewer additives or thickeners. You can stir the whey back into the yogurt, or as I do, pour it off and save it to use in cooking. I just pour it into the same container as the strained milk skin, until I have the opportunity to use it all. These yogurt waste products seem to keep in my fridge for 2 to 3 weeks, by the way.

So, I save the yogurt waste until there is a food in which I want to use it. Whey and milk skimmings can be used in place of milk in recipes where the tangy flavor doesn't really matter, such as quick breads and muffins, cream of vegetable soup, or as I did with this batch, I made  scratch macaroni and cheese, substituting the yogurt waste for some of the milk and cheese in the cheese sauce. I puree the skimmings with my stick blender, yielding a product with a thickness much like heavy cream.

I agree, the curdled-looking stuff is rather unappealing. However, it does have flavor and nutritional value, and it is a dairy product. So, why not use it in cooking?


  1. I bet it would be tasty as an alfredo sauce. I don't make yogurt, seems to complicated for me, but I do notice the water "whey" that congregs at the top of my Greek yogurt - I just stir it back in.


  2. I use the whey when I came my bread. It gives it a pseudo sourdough taste. By the way, you are an inspiration!

  3. Hi Shelby,
    Alfredo sauce sounds like a delicious use for my yogurt waste/by-products. Thank you for the suggestion!

  4. Using the whey for a faux sourdough flavor is a terrific idea! Thank you for that. I think I could do a French bread recipe, with this added and get something very close to sourdough.


Thank you for joining the discussion today. Here at creative savv, we strive to maintain a respectful community centered around frugal living. Creative savv would like to continue to be a welcoming and safe place for discussion, and as such reserves the right to remove comments that are inappropriate for the conversation.


Be a voice that helps someone else on their frugal living journey

Are you interested in writing for creative savv?
What's your frugal story?

Do you have a favorite frugal recipe, special insight, DIY project, or tips that could make frugal living more do-able for someone else?

Creative savv is seeking new voices.


share this post