Have you ever opened up a container of yogurt and saw that murky liquid pooling at the top? If so, you can take one of two routes: You either pour that liquid down the sink, or you mix it into your yogurt and enjoy. But which one is the correct choice? And is the liquid good or bad for you?
Apparently there’s a lot more to that liquid than meets the eye. It’s actually acid whey floating at the top of your yogurt container, and it’s created during the culture process when whey is suspended as milk is mixed together. More importantly, it has its own nutritional benefits. If you stir that liquid back into your yogurt, it infuses a combination of lactose, potassium, calcium, probiotics, and protein, which are all important for keeping your bones and heart strong. Yogurt itself is a great addition to your regular diet because it supports digestive health, strengthens your immune system, provides critical protein to the body, and includes tons of vitamins and minerals, like vitamin B12, calcium, and vitamin D. But the acid whey can give it even more of a nutritional boost. As for the taste? It may make your yogurt a little creamier, but it won’t change the flavor.
If, for whatever reason, you don’t like that acid whey in your yogurt but want to save it, you can transfer those same nutritional benefits to a smoothie or soup. One Twitter user even recommended pouring it into your tea in place of milk or cream. And if you really, really can’t stand the look or feel of that yogurt liquid, you can simply try buying Greek yogurt. Part of its production process strains out most of that excess whey to give it a thicker texture. But hey, at least now you know what it is!
The article originally appeared on our sister site, First for Women.