Hood River Cherries

August 30, 2011

For the next couple weeks we will have some amazing cherries in the produce department. Hood River cherries will be in all Harmons stores, but just for a limited time.

Hood River, a family operated orchard in Oregon, provides cherries that are tree-ripened before being picked and sent to us. These sweet cherries are allowed to grow on the trees until the sugar level reaches a 21 brix, the standard in the cherry business starts at 15. (The brix count is, simply put, the sugar content of a given fruit.) Each cherry is picked by hand and packaged at the orchard to ensure the best possible quality. For more information on Hood River cherries, the family business and their cherry varieties, visit their web site or find their brochures in the stores.

Wild Salmon Season

August 30, 2011

Chris, Meat Manager

My name is Chris Harney and I am the Meat manager of the Harmons D.C. center in sunny St. George Utah. I am excited for this opportunity to share some of the things I have learned in my years with Harmons. It’s Wild Salmon season right now, and here at Harmons we have some beautiful salmon for you to enjoy. We have nice displays of King, Sockeye and Coho fillets. The different species of salmon all have a little different flavor and nutritional benefits. It’s not too late to stop by and get this delicious and healthy summer treat. If you have any questions on cooking, or even side dishes, you can always ask one of our knowledgeable service counter associates for suggestions.

The healthiest parking spots

August 30, 2011

Harmons is now participating in the LiVe Park Farther Project with Intermountain Healthcare. The LiVe program paints select parking stalls that are a bit further away from the entrance to encourage people to park further out and get the benefit of walking further for a healthier lifestyle. Individuals from the LiVe program go out randomly and award people parked in “Live” stalls with gift cards as an added incentive to participate. Visit the LiVe Program web site for more information and other Park Farther locations.

Why Reduce Your Intake of Added Sugar?

August 29, 2011

Jonnell, Registered Dietitian

Last Saturday I was offering samples of peanut butter banana “ice cream” (made with only bananas and Harmons’ freshly ground peanut butter) and touting the benefits of a summer treat without added sugar.  Afterward, I wondered if everybody understood why limiting added sugar is important and if they knew how to identify added sugar.

First, let me say that I am not talking about eliminating foods with added sugar. However, that being said, there are several reasons why limiting added sugar is important. Foods with added sugars may be replacing foods that are more nutritious, so you may be missing key nutrients in your diet if your intake of added sugars is high. Weight gain may occur if the calories from these added sugars are not taken into account.  Higher intakes of added sugar have been linked to increased triglyceride (a type of fat) levels and lower HDL cholesterol (“good” cholesterol) levels, both of which increase the risk for heart disease. Additionally, there is some new research that suggests that lowering intake of added sugar may help lower blood pressure. So there are many potential health benefits to reducing your intake of added sugars.

So, how do you identify added sugars versus natural sugars? The current food label does not distinguish total sugars from added sugars, so the best way to identify added sugars is to read the ingredient list. There are many names for added sugar in addition to those you may be familiar with like sugar, honey, and molasses. Many of those will either end in –ose or will have the word “syrup” in their name. If you want to know how much added sugar is in a product, you could try comparing an unsweetened version of the product to the sweetened version (such as comparing plain yogurt to sweetened yogurt). So make it a goal to reduce your intake of added sugars today as a step toward improving your health!

Lots and lots of zucchini?!

August 29, 2011
Chef Bob

Chef Bob, Executive Chef

My summer garden is bursting with fresh tomatoes, strawberries, Swiss chard, lettuce, and on and on. Most of all is the over abundance of zucchini. Everyone who plants a garden seems to have a mental block as to how much their previous year’s garden produced, more zucchini than they could possibly use — a lot more! Zucchini is something that can be used for almost whatever your imagination will allow. Its versatility is credited to its neutral flavor. I recently went to my mother-in-laws house for dinner and we had a great vegetarian meal supplied from the bounty of their garden. For dessert she made one of the best cobblers that I ever had. When I asked her for the recipe for this incredible apple cobbler, she told me that it wasn’t apple, it was zucchini. I almost fell over. We started talking about some of the recipes that she had come up with over the years to utilize the seasonally perpetual excess of zucchini that she always had. Everything from relish and pickles to jam and pie were discussed. As the peak of harvest season is upon us, you may want to take advantage of the many ways there are to “preserve the harvest”. We have 2 different classes at our Bangerter Crossing and Station Park Cooking Schools that will help you with coming up with different and exciting ways to do just that. Sign up at Harmonsgrocery.com and check out our upcoming classes while you’re there. Eat Well!

Making Mozzarella Show & Tell

August 28, 2011

On Friday Shauna told you about the Harmons cheese mongers making fresh mozzarella for the next four weeks. Today Darryl and Jeremiah at Bangerter Crossing show and tell how they make the fresh cheese.

 

Fresh Mozzarella is perfect for tomato season

August 26, 2011
Shauna in Cheese

Shauna, Cheese Monger

It’s tomato season and you know what that means – Fresh Mozzarella. For the next four weekends our cheese mongers will be pulling our own mozzarella. For those who are not familiar with fresh mozzarella, it is quite different from the semi-soft mozzarella that you put on your pizza. Fresh mozzarella is a full moisture cheese and sold fresh instead of aged. Mozzarella itself is what’s called a pasts filata cheese, or pulled curd cheese. Fresh mozzarella is heated, knitted and then pulled or stretched. After the right texture is achieved it is formed into balls. The milky, delicate taste is perfect with tomato and fresh basil for a Caprese salad. You could also try it with red pepper flakes and olive oil. I love to take the sweet hot peppers from our olive bar and stuff them with the mozzarella. Magnifico!!

 

Come and see us this weekend. We will be out with our tables stretching mozzarella for you at your local Harmons store.

Harmons Granola

August 25, 2011
Jason in Bakery

Jason, Artisan Baker

Did you know that Harmons granola is made fresh in the bakery? It contains honey, almonds, brown sugar, dried cranberries, flax seed, pumpkin seed, raisins, rolled oats, sunflower seeds, coconut, soybean oil, sesame seed, vanilla extract, baking soda and sea salt! This is a delicious healthy treat and it is loaded with healthy stuff! Some studies suggest that flax seed may lower cholesterol levels, especially in women. Pumpkin Seeds are a good source of protein, zinc, manganese and magnesium. We all know that Harmons Granola makes good trail food, but did you know that Harmons Granola is also great on yogurt? Have you ever sprinkled it on ice cream? It can also be used to bring a “boring” cereal to life. So take it home today for the health benefits, continue to come back for it because it tastes great!

“World’s most dangerous leftovers”

August 24, 2011

Phil in Pharmacy

Phil, Pharmacy Manager

I saw that on a billboard with a picture of an open prescription bottle while driving to work the other day. These leftovers can do more than make you gain weight like others can; it can kill someone. It is important to only use medications as directed and to not share them with anyone. Pharmacists at Harmons can let you know how to properly use, store, and dispose of your medications. Useonlyasdirected.org has great information about how severe of a problem this is in Utah.

How to Pack a HEALTHY & SAFE School Lunch

August 20, 2011
Jessica

Jessica, Registered Dietitian

With the kids headed back to school, the stress of what to pack for lunch every day begins again. Will your kids eat what you send or roll their eyes at your selections? Sure, Oreos and candy bars would be chowed down in a heartbeat, but what healthy options can you pack that your kids will actually eat? And how do you keep perishable lunches safe until it’s lunchtime?

What Makes up a Healthy Lunch?
As you have probably heard or seen, the Food Pyramid has recently been replaced with MyPlate. This new icon is a great, simple visual to help you build healthy meals. Although school lunches are not packed on a traditional “plate” this icon is great to keep in mind as you build a healthy lunch for your kids. Here are some quick tips to pack a well-balanced meal:

  • Try to pack 2-3 ounces of meat, low fat cheese, or peanut butter every day to help meet your growing child’s protein needs.
  • Add 1 or 2 slices of 100% whole grain bread or whole grain crackers to increase fiber and B vitamins.
  • Include at least one serving of fresh or dried fruit every day, and stick to 100% fruit juice.
  • Aim for a healthy serving of veggies at lunch to ensure daily needs are met. Cutting veggies into fun shapes and including a low-fat dip, like hummus or peanut butter, are great ways to get the kids to love veggies.
  • Encourage your kids to choose low fat milk or yogurt at school, or pack it with their lunch if there is a way to keep it cool until lunch time (see safety below). Continue Reading »