Dairy Alternatives

June 30, 2012

Jessica, Registered Dietitian

With all of the promotions and talk of dairy products during the month of June for Dairy Month, you may be feeling left out if you do not tolerate dairy or if you follow a vegan diet.  It’s true that milk is a nutrition powerhouse, with high amounts of protein, calcium, and potassium, as well as other important vitamins and minerals.  But there are a variety of nutritious non-dairy options available.  I was actually shocked at the variety as I checked out all of the products we now carry!  Below is a guide to non-dairy alternatives (compared to fat free or low-fat (1%) milk).

Soy Milk

Soy milk is the most common dairy alternative and the most similar nutritionally to milk.  There are many brands available and it comes in unsweetened, vanilla, chocolate, and regular.  Soy milk has a creamy texture similar to dairy milk, and the flavor is somewhat neutral.


  • Similar protein content to milk (6-7 grams for soy milk vs. 8 grams per cup for milk)
  • Similar in calories to milk (can be slightly higher if not unsweetened)
  • Enriched soy milk is usually higher in calcium and iron than regular milk and similar in vitamin D
  • Contains some fiber (dairy does not contain any fiber)


  • Often contains added sugar (look for unsweetened soy milk)
  • Un-enriched soy milk is lacking in important vitamins and minerals, like calcium and vitamins A and D

Almond Milk Continue Reading »

Great Health Tip of the Day: Don’t Forget the Sunscreen

June 30, 2012

When packing your vacation bags or heading out for a day of outdoor fun, don’t forget to pack your sunscreen!  Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer, with more than 2 million people diagnosed EVERY YEAR.  The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends using a broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF 15 or greater every day.  For extended outdoor activity, they suggest a water-resistant, broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF 30 or greater.

Harmons carries a variety of broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF as high as 100+!  You can find sunscreen lotion, spray, and even sticks for convenience.  And don’t forget to apply an SPF lip balm too.  Enjoy the great outdoors and remember your sun safety this summer.

Trying out our own rubs on Beehive Cheese

June 29, 2012

Hello From Cheese Heaven,
This week we are so lucky to be able to go to Beehive Cheese Company and visit Pat and Tim. This time they asked us to bring our own rub for cheese. Oh, the fun we had! Everyone bought their own ideas and we each had one pound wedge to experiment on.

Danny the monger at our West store brought a maple and cherry rub, and Heather from our Taylorsville store had one of her chefs (and his Mom) help her make a spicy rub. Beehive will age the wedges for one month and then we will go back and try them. Pat let us know not to get our hopes up. Making a rub for a great tasting cheese is a science and a work of art. So in a month we will see if we have some winners or if we are spitting out a lot of cheese. We had a wonderful time on our visit but how can you help it with such warm and caring people as the Hive.

Perfect Parmesan Breadsticks

June 28, 2012
Jason in Bakery

Jason, Artisan Baker

I just wanted to take a second and tell you about a new product that we have in the bakery, Parmesan Breadsticks! They are made from generous amounts of Parmesan, garlic powder and olive oil that cover our ciabatta bread. May I recommend melting your favorite cheese on them (our cheese island is sure to have the right one for you) and using them for your next pasta meal. Or just dip them in some marinara sauce, either way you can”t go wrong! They are available in all Harmons locations every day for just $2.99!

Prescription Weight Loss Medications – Discuss Before Starting

June 27, 2012
Phil in Pharmacy

Phil, Pharmacy Manager

Prescriptions for weight loss are available but aren’t for everyone. They are reserved for people with a body mass index (BMI) greater than 30, or greater than 27 with other risk factors like high blood pressure, diabetes, or high cholesterol. The medications should only be used in conjunction with healthy eating habits and exercise. These medications are either stimulants that suppress your appetite or there is one that blocks the absorption of fat from your diet. There are risks to taking these medications. In 2010 one of the stimulant medications called sibutramine (Meridia) was pulled from the market for a link to heart attacks and strokes. The one that blocks fat absorption called orlistat (Xenical, Alli) has had some reports of liver damage and is being investigated. The benefits and the risks should be discussed with your doctor and pharmacist before starting. The challenge with these medications is keeping the weight off since they shouldn’t be used long term. The key to weight loss and being healthy is developing a healthy lifestyle. It is important to do things and eat in a way that can be done long term. This is easier said than done but losing 10% of your weight can have a big impact on your blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar. If you have more questions about these medications please talk to your local Harmons pharmacist. We also have dietitians that can help with healthy eating.

Great Health Tip of the Day: Turkey Lover’s Month

June 27, 2012

It’s true, turkey lover’s month is in June, NOT November. If you think turkey is only for Thanksgiving, think again. Harmons Recipe Ready Turkey is easy to prepare, delicious, and healthy.

 Try turkey enchiladas, turkey burgers, or turkey stir-fry instead of using chicken.

It’s best to use a meat thermometer when cooking turkey so you don’t overcook and dry it out.  Make sure your turkey reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.  Don’t forget about our Boar’s Head deli turkey for a great sandwich! There are so many ways to enjoy turkey outside of Thanksgiving!

Check out the Meat & Seafood blog for great Recipe Ready Turkey recipes from our Cooking School Chefs http://www.harmonsgrocery.com/blog/category/meat-seafood/

10 Reasons Why You Should Try Pesto This Summer

June 23, 2012

Laura, Registered Dietitian

During my childhood, I always had an easy answer when asked what my favorite food was — frosting!  Nowadays, I like to think my tastes have matured and my favorite food is no longer frosting.  Answering “the favorite food” question is somewhat more complicated, but more often than not I say pesto.  Here’s why.

1)      It’s simple and fresh.
Traditionally, pesto is sauce made by crushing together fresh basil, pine nuts, parmesan cheese, olive oil, garlic, and salt  No baking required!

2)      It’s quick.
Pesto is so easy!  Just throw the ingredients into a food processor and you have pesto in 30 seconds!  A mortar and pestle works too.

3)      It’s delicious.
Fresh herbs, along with quality cheese, oil, and nuts make pesto a well-balanced flavor sensation.

4)      It’s versatile.
Pesto is a generic term for anything that is pounded, so the variations are endless!

  • Instead of basil try cilantro, mint, or any other herb or green with a bite. Asparagus, arugula, artichokes, and parsley work great!  Add tomatoes, lemon, or strawberries for even more of a twist.
  •  Feel free to use any other nut for a subtle taste variation—almonds, walnuts, and cashews are great. 
  • Or try another hard, flavorful cheese like Romano or pecorino in place of parmesan cheese.

5)      It’s affordable.
Swap out pine nuts for walnuts, and pesto can be made on all but the tightest of budgets!  And thanks to its strong flavor, a little goes a long way.

6)      It’s packable.
Due to its concentrated flavor, pesto is the perfect pasta topping for a backpacking trip, camping trip, or picnic.  It’s durable and relatively lightweight.  It also adds a little bit of “gourmet” to any meal.

7)      It’s a good way to fight weeds!
Replace basil with dandelion leaves or, if you take a trip to the mid-west, the invasive roadside garlic mustard, to satisfy your belly and cut down on the weed population.

8)      It’s nutritious.
Pesto is a good source of vitamin A and K and other antioxidants (you can thank the basil and garlic).  Any other green used is bound to provide great nutrition as well.  The nuts and olive oil provide a healthy dose of fats.  The cheese adds some protein and a little saturated fat, but not too much.

9)      It’s beautiful.
The crushed basil gives pesto a brilliant green color—sure to add “pop” to any meal.

10)   It’s good with anything and everything (except, maybe frosting)!
Use it to top pastas, spread on sandwiches, replace pizza sauce, add to scrambled eggs, liven up roasted veggies, top meats, or layer on bruschetta!  Let your imagination run wild—it will be good!

Great Health Tip of the Day: Try a new twist on tea!

June 21, 2012

According to the Tea Association of the USA, about half of Americans are tea drinkers. And they can drink to their health! Drinking tea is a great way to get your antioxidants and stay hydrated.

  • Tea contains flavonoids, a type of antioxidant that prevents the oxidation of LDL-cholesterol, reduce blood clotting, and widen the blood vessels in the heart. Drink to heart health!
  • Tea contains 20-60mg of caffeine per 8 ounces—that’s about half the caffeine in coffee.
  • The catechins in tea may help prevent cancer, though study results are mixed.
  • Eating tea is another way to get the tasty benefits of tea’s antioxidants. Use it as a seasoning in meatloaf, soups, salads, or try it as a spice rub on fish! In the hot summer months, enjoy it on ice.

Diabetes Resources at Your Local Harmons

June 20, 2012

Jessica, Pharmacy Manager

Living with diabetes can be very difficult, especially when recently diagnosed.  Challenges include; new medication, exercising, counting carbohydrates, and cutting back on favorite foods.  All of this can be overwhelming and confusing. Remember that you have incredible resources at your finger tips!

  • A nearby Harmons pharmacist is always ready and willing to discuss any questions you may have regarding your medications. Taking new medication, which most can’t even pronounce, can be a little intimidating, but never be afraid to ask questions. The more you know about your medications, the better you are able to treat your diabetes.
  • A dietitian is a great resource for your questions about your new diet.  You may be surprised to know that Harmons has dietitians that visit your local store a few times a month. In the stores at Station Park in Farmington, City Creek, and Bangerter Crossing in Draper there are full-time dietitians available throughout the week. It is difficult to come up with meals for your new diet, but dietitians can provide valuable information in helping you lead a healthier lifestyle and even lose some weight.

With determination and assistance, many of those living with diabetes are able to lose weight, control their diet, reduce medications, and in many cases, eliminate medications. I know you may be feeling a bit frustrated or lost, but don’t forget that most of your questions and concerns can be addressed close to home!  Harmons’ pharmacists and dietitians are friendly, knowledgeable, and available to help shoulder your burden and join with you in working towards a happier and healthier tomorrow.

Homemade Ice Cream Safety

June 19, 2012

Jonnell, Registered Dietitian

Homemade ice cream is a delicious treat often made for those special summertime occasions like family reunions, neighborhood block parties, and 4th of July barbecues.  However, every year several outbreaks of salmonella poisoning occur in the U.S. due to the raw eggs that are often used in the ice cream.  In order to safely enjoy your favorite homemade ice cream recipe, I’d suggest that you consider some alternatives to raw eggs for making this treat:

  • Use cooked custard as the base of your ice cream, making sure to cook the custard to 160° F (I’d recommend using a thermometer to check this)
  • Use a pasteurized egg substitute in place of eggs in your recipe
  • Try a new recipe that does not include eggs

Whichever method you choose, remember that ice cream is high in saturated fat and calories so enjoy in moderation.