Jared Koch is overseeing a clean eating empire.
As the founder of Clean Plates—a series of healthy restaurant books, a website, and a cookbook, he and his team want to take the grunt work out of eating well. “It’s our mission make it easy and enjoyable for people to eat healthier,” says Koch. Even in Manhattan and other foodie cities where temptations abound.
If you’re going to take advice on clean eating from anyone, Koch is a good person to trust. One peek inside his refrigerator (mung beans and ghee, oh my!) and it’s clear this credentialed nutritionist, food critic, and author knows how to shop healthy and satisfy a sweet tooth without causing a cavity.
Here’s what Koch stocks up on:
Sprouted mung beans? That’s not something you see every day. What do you have planned for them? It’s actually a new product that I came across and want to try (still haven’t yet!). Sprouted beans are easier to digest, and their nutrients and protein are more available for the body. As someone who’s extraordinarily busy (like most New Yorkers), I liked the fact that you can cook them in fewer than 15 minutes. It seems like it could be a great way to get some good quality nutrients in a hurry.
I see that can of pink salmon sitting on the middle shelf. When do you go for canned over fresh fish? Hardly ever. I’m not a huge fan of canned foods in general, but always keep some on hand in case of an emergency. I actually bought this can of wild salmon in preparation for the hurricane a few months ago.
Roger. Do I spy a few sweets on the top shelf? What are you favorite ways to treat yourself while maintaining a clean diet? Over the past several years, I’ve pretty much completely eliminated refined sweeteners from my diet. I do, however, treat myself to some natural ones. The raw honey is one of my favorite ways to satisfy my sweet cravings. I’ll often mix it with almond butter. They’re close together for a reason!
Almost everything in here looks organic. Do you eat completely 100 perecent organic? I don’t, but I try as much as practically possible. We’re exposed to so many toxins, so I think it’s a good idea to reduce the exposure as much as we can. I prioritize by being pickiest with animal products and produce where I eat the skin.
What are the staples you tend to load your shopping cart with? The most important thing for me is to make sure I have breakfast foods available—like oatmeal, eggs, and ghee, Ezekiel muffins, and almond butter. I always like to have vegetables and fruits available, too. Other than that, I like trying new things, so I’m pretty spontaneous when I’m shopping.
What have you made lately? I don’t see any leftovers. I’m not huge on leftovers. I just had some frozen grass-fed beef in the freezer, and cooked that with vegetables in the fridge. It was delicious.
Many think clean eating is time consuming. Do you have any advice for those trying to eat better while juggling daily life? For someone who’s just starting a cleaner diet, I can see how it might seem overwhelming. But the truth is, you can do it in little, manageable steps. For instance, you might start by increasing your vegetables one day, or by buying a few more organic items the next time you shop. You could try replacing a processed snack you’re used to with a trail mix you throw together yourself. Or swapping white bread for sprouted grain.
As a food critic on the prowl for the healthiest, tastiest restaurants, are there any restaurants you’re excited to try in 2013? I’ve been really enjoying Hu Kitchen and Beyond Sushi. A few spots on my radar are Magic Mix Juicery, Han Jan, Louro, and American Flatbread in Tribeca. —Amy Eley
For more information, visit www.cleanplates.com