Today’s Smoothie: Apple Shiso Sage

It’s early apple season. I have one tree that’s a prolific apple producer this year (as it is most years).

We have an annual competition between me and the neighborhood deer. Who will eat more of the apple crop?

Earlier this evening, I heard at least one deer munching on a freshly plucked from the tree, somewhat green, golden delicious apple.

The deer at least wait until after sunset to embark on their now nightly apple harvesting missions.

I hear them crunching through the English ivy that covers the hillside between my driveway and one neighbor’s backyard.

The tree is conveniently located at the base of the slope for easy picking for me and for the deer.

Until the end of apple season, I plan to include an apple in 9 out of 10 of my “Today’s Smoothie” recipes. Today’s smoothie is a light green smoothie, with bright flavor notes from the red shiso and fresh sage leaves.

While apple season is just underway, it looks like my red shiso (perilla) plants are near the end of their production. Perilla plants are self-seeding annuals, so I am hopeful to have a new crop spring up as the weather warms next year.

This past year, one of my sage plants had enough, and I remove the dying remnants. My one remaining sage plant seems to eager to show off and keep thriving, even though I planted the nursery starts at the same time several years ago.

Coconut water is a great substitute for plant-based milk in your morning smoothie. If you use unsweetened coconut water not from concentrate, it is more minimally processed than many store-bought plant-based milks.

Here are some nutrition fact highlights from one can of Thirsty Buddha brand coconut water:

  • 90 calories per 16.5 fl. oz. can
  • Potassium 780 mg (22% Daily Value)
  • Magnesium 8% Daily Value
  • Calcium 6% Daily Value


Apple Shiso Sage Smoothie, by Veganbythebook

MAKES: 4 ½ cups (about 1050 ml)


  • 2 bananas, broken in half
  • 1 (16.5 fluid ounce) can unsweetened coconut water with pulp (I used Thirsty Buddha brand)
  • 3 tablespoons organic hulled hemp seeds
  • 1 teaspoon maca powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 tablespoon red shiso leaves (May substitute green shiso or mint leaves)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh sage leaves
  • 1 Medjool date, pitted
  • 1 freshly picked apple, quartered, cored, and chopped
  • 1 large red chard leaf and stem, chopped



  1. Add all ingredients to the jar of a high-speed blender. Process until smooth, about 1 minute. Pour into serving glass(es).
  2. Enjoy!


I enjoyed a beautiful 7-mile trail run with an old friend and former co-worker. We did not get a chance to meet up for a local trail race this summer, but we did manage to meet up for a run at this beautiful state park overlooking the San Francisco Bay. IMG_20190825_080127

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