Start the new year by going green (juice)

After the proliferation of cupcake and patisseries all over the city, it seems the tide has turned. And it is green and healthful. In the last year, several juice shops have opened in Cow Hollow and the Marina, all specializing in cold-pressed, fresh juice blends promising to provide a powerful serving of vitamins and other nutrients in one usually bright-green drink.

Is juicing that much more healthful than eating plenty of whole fruits and vegetables? Most nutritionists say not really. Whole fruits and vegetables provide fiber, much of which is lost in the juicing process. Still, proponents of juicing say that their blends can help you lose or maintain weight, give you more energy, keep you full longer, and are better absorbed by your body.

And yes, while you can also easily make your own nutritious juices at home, because we’re all pressed for time, picking up a premade green juice is the next best thing. And no one can argue that they’re much better for you than a doughnut.

• Juice Shop (1994 Union Street, 415-834-5161, is operated by the three Gulick brothers. All of the produce used is locally sourced, and the juices are made using a hydraulic press to grind the fruits and veggies without using any heat, hence the term “cold pressed.” Juice Shop’s juices are bottled in glass and will last in your fridge up to three days. Their basic Bright Green juice is a combination of kale, ginger, cucumber, pineapple, apple, and lemon, and is slightly sweeter and more palatable to the new-to-green-juice palate than other blends.

• Thrive Juicery (3330 Steiner Street, 415-508-4577, was founded by a foodie, Megan Propp, and wellness buff, Stephanie Hubbard, and claims among their advisors physicians Andrew Weil, Deepak Chopra, and Walter Willett, chair of nutrition at Harvard University. In addition to a vast hue of cold-pressed juices, Thrive also offers raw nut milks such as almond and cashew. Thrive’s Green Machine is a savory mixture of kale, romaine, spinach, cucumber, parsley, and ginger, but it also offers sweeter juices.

• Greens & Company (3236 Scott Street, 415-580-7717, is the inspiration of Adrienne Ledden, a juicing and holistic nutrition devotee. Its juices are made using a Norwalk juicer — another hydraulic, cold-press machine — and its Signature Greens juice is made with kale, spinach, parsley, ginger, fresh lime, and apple: a citrusy, slightly sweet blend.

• Pressed Juicery (2162A Union Street, 415-346-3293, is a SoCal-based chain with locations statewide and an ample following of celebrities. Founded by Hayden Slater, Carly Brien, and Heidi Gores, its goals are health and convenience in one, and it offers a generous selection of juices, nut milks, teas, and bottled water. Pressed Juice Greens 1 is a basic combination of kale, spinach, romaine, parsley and cucumber, and each numbered juice has added ingredients to lend sweetness and flavor, finishing with Greens 6, a blend of spinach, honeydew, kiwi, lemongrass and cilantro.

All of the juice shops also offer cleanse options for those who are interested in trying a somewhat controversial all-liquid diet as a path to healthfulness. Some will deliver to homes, offices, and even the gym.

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