We’re all about the probiotics.
So it came as a surprise when we found out that we were leaving a delicious and distinctive source of probiotics out of our regular rotation: whey.
Our discovery is thanks to Homa Dashtaki of The White Moustache, a line of Persian-style yogurt made with local milk sans preservatives, salt, sugar or cream. Her thick yogurt requires straining, and whey is the byproduct of this process. It turns out that the fresh liquid contains all the calcium and probiotics of yogurt without any of the calories of milk fats.
A product has to have 1 million parts per serving to be considered probiotic. Homa’s products have over 100 million parts per serving that are live, active and raring to go.
As such, whey is a gut-health superstar. Homa told us, “There’s no good way to say this marketing wise, but it helps you poop.” Look for her refreshing tonics in flavors like passion fruit with pear juice, honey-lime, ginger and sweet beet in 16-ounce glass bottles ($5) at area Whole Foods.
In addition to being a great alternative to kombucha or coconut water, you can cook with whey as well. Homa loves to use the slightly tart liquid in place of chicken broth, to make a silky sorbet or in a raw cauliflower soup to preserve the probiotics. And it can be substituted for liquid ingredients in your favorite cakes and pastries. Come Thanksgiving, she will be selling five gallon buckets ($35) of whey for turkey brine.
Chefs around the city are scooping it up too. Chef Rob Newton of Brooklyn’s Nightingale 9 tenderizes his beef in it; the nearby Smith Canteen mixes it into a juice with spinach, ginger, celery and mint, and Foragers in Chelsea is spiking brunch cocktails with it.
So what are you whey-ting for?