Whey Pancakes

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.

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. Its natural acidity reacts perfectly with baking soda to produce all the leavening (carbon dioxide bubbles) you need.

Prep
25 mins
Yield
about fourteen 4" pancakes
Whey Pancakes

Instructions

  1. Mix the dry ingredients together in a mixing bowl.

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

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

  4. Heat a heavy frying pan over medium heat, or set an electric griddle to 375°F. Lightly grease frying pan or griddle. The pan or griddle is ready if a drop of water will skitter across the surface, evaporating immediately.

  5. Drop 1/4 cupfuls of batter onto the lightly greased griddle. Bake on one side until bubbles begin to form and break, about 2 minutes; then turn the pancakes and cook the other side until brown, about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Turn over only once. Serve immediately.

Tips from our Bakers

  • Brinna Sands reported 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.
  • 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.
  • Looking for a way to use more whey? Read a post with other whey-related recipes here: A baker's secret.