Culturing Yogurt 

Scan Boise Co-op's beverage shelves and you'll find a number of bottles bulging with friendly bacteria. Dozens of varieties of drinkable yogurt shakes, kefir and kombucha tout the benefits of "probiotics." Scientists claim that probiotic foodstuffs--items that contain helpful bacteria like Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium--can help regulate digestion, prevent irritable bowel syndrome, reduce the risk of colon cancer, strengthen the immune system and help prevent yeast infections. Some studies show that friendly bacteria can help manage mild lactose intolerance because the bacteria convert lactose into lactic acid, which is more readily digestible.

Well, if you're feeling cash strapped from all your health-conscious probiotic purchases, College of Western Idaho is now offering a one-day class on culturing yogurt from 12:30-2:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 4. The class is taught by Cindy Fry, who can show you how to make your own yogurt at home with only milk, a yogurt starter, a thermometer and a heating pad. No word yet on whether Fry will also show you how to make your own Go-gurt.

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