Smoothie Bowl

The Rise n’ Shine Smoothie Bowl and The Plant-Based Cookbook by Ashley Madden on a sunny California day. Pic by M.C.

If I could only take one thing to a deserted island it would be a Rise n’ Shine Smoothie Bowl by Ashley Madden.

The first time I had a pitaya smoothie bowl, or sometimes spelled pitahaya, I was in Johnson City, Tennessee at the Java Juice House watching a dusting of snow fall. Pitaya is a dragon fruit probably coming from Mexico to California in my area. You can buy frozen dragon fruit. The directions basically have you make a smoothie. Then Renaissance Man bought me The Plant-Based Cookbook: Vegan, Gluten-Free, Oil-Free Recipes for Lifelong Health by Ashley Madden B.Sc. (Pharm), ACPR, C.H.N. I made the Rise n’ Shine Smoothie Bowl from Madden’s cookbook. The recipe is just as good as my first pitaya if not better.

Here is Ashley Madden’s recipe and then my variations.

½ cup unsweetened almond milk
1 large frozen banana
1 heaping cup frozen mango or mixed berries
1 cup packed baby spinach
1 Tbsp. whole flax seeds
1 Tbsp. well-stirred almond butter
Pinch of cinnamon

Optional Toppings:
Chia seeds, goji berries, fresh berries, shredded coconut

Yield: 2 servings

Add all the smoothie ingredients to a blender. Then divide the smoothie between two bowls and garnish.

Smoothie with frozen berries. Pic by M.C.

The bowl with Wyman’s frozen triple berries comes out as a lavender or purple colored smoothie.

Smoothie with frozen passion fruit. Pic by M.C.

The light green smoothie is with frozen passion fruit.

Smoothie with frozen dragon fruit. Pic by M.C.

The medium green smoothie is from me taking a fresh pitaya, peeling, dicing, and then freezing it overnight. I buy a yellow fruit with white flesh, which you can see the spinach will dominate the color of the smoothie. Fresh dragon fruit is my favorite. It will come out tasting like frozen yogurt. I can really taste the almond milk and almond butter. Right now a fresh dragon fruit is $19.99 a pound at my health food store so be on the lookout for a better price. Or you can buy the more affordable frozen dragon fruit with the hot pink flesh which will give you a hot pink smoothie.

Making my own frozen dragon fruit. Pic by M.C.

All other smoothie bowls I have had at a restaurant put the nut butter on top. Simply blending it with the smoothie like Madden suggests makes a big yummy difference.

The toppings I usually use are a banana, blueberries, raspberries, dark chocolate chips, chia seeds, and coconut flakes. In the top photo I added agave syrup which is the old way I used to make the recipe. The recipe above doesn’t need any added sweetness, but sometimes I will add a Medjool date to the smoothie if I need to use the dates or just want the smoothie sweeter. Also, if I don’t have almond butter I use peanut butter. And I use flax seed meal since I can’t find the seeds.

I have collected healthy cookbooks through the years that capture the essence of a plant-based diet for a particular decade. Ashley Madden’s The Plant-Based Cookbook: Vegan, Gluten-Free, Oil-Free Recipes for Lifelong Health is the cookbook for our generation. Pick up her book at Amazon.

And if you’re in Tennessee check out Java Juice House.

Have fun making your smoothie bowl!

Happy Vegan!

Copyright 2022 Melissa Crismon

Omega Juicers

The oh so pretty Omega JC3000 juicer in white and gold. Pic by M.C.

I bought my parents an Omega JC3000 juicer in a pretty white with gold trim which is also sold in red or silver. Back in 2019 when I bought my first Omega juicer they didn’t have anything affordable. I had to bite the bullet. I love my juicer which is a MMV700 MegaMouth. I will compare Omega’s most affordable juicer to their high-end juicer.

Just like my MMV700 MegaMouth juicer the JC3000 kicked my butt. It seems I always have trouble putting a juicer together when I first get it. The JC3000 isn’t like the MegaMouth. The JC3000 is tiny but mighty. It’s a tad more electronic than the MegaMouth. We read the directions and put the juicer together, but the lights wouldn’t come on for the numbers on the side that is above the on button, the two speed button, and the forward and backward button. I called Omega and they had me email them a photo of the juicer put together and a video of me trying to turn it on. They said I didn’t have the hopper on right, which is the lid. So the back of the juicer makes it seem like the hopper won’t fit but it does. Then days later my dad figured out that when the hopper goes on correctly a “beep” sounds. It didn’t do that for me, but apparently with the JC3000 model that’s what is supposed to happen, which is not in the directions. Now that my dad has figured it out he is happily juicing. He has the same enthusiasm I do and can’t wait to juice more than carrots. Now we are having fun sending photos of our full twisty juice jars.

The Omega JC3000 juicer with Dad’s carrot ginger juice. Pic by Dad.

I love juicing. There is something relaxing about it. And I am pleased with the JC3000. The bowl and all the top parts that juice are smaller than my juicer, but they are pretty amazing. I am able to get four 16-ounce mason jars full of juice. With my MegaMouth I am able to juice seven or eight 16-ounce mason jars depending on how small I cut the veggies and fruits and how slow I drop in the produce.

The MMV700 MegaMouth with my green juice. Pic by M.C.

Two things to consider when buying a juicer: price and parts. My juicer was something like $550 a few years back, but it’s amazing. The JC3000 is just as amazing, but doesn’t juice as much. If you’re juicing for one or two people either are good. I like my MMV700 MegaMouth because I can juice once a week and have one juice each morning. So it’s a time saver. The other thing is Omega is the only juicer that sells parts on their website. When I bought my juicer the bowl leaked. Because I bought my juicer from I was able to get a replacement part mailed to me in a week for free. It was the wrong part, but the lady sent another part and then all was good. So now if I juice 7 juices there is some leakage when I lift the bowl to clean it. I don’t know if that is normal. My juicer has a warranty so I should be able to get a new part. Also it looks like the MMV700S MegaMouth has replaced the MMV700 MegaMouth. Maybe they fixed the leaking. The JC3000 does not leak. And the JC3000 was only $163 with shipping and taxes. For what it does that is really awesome. A third factor that might be important to you is the MegaMouth is 12 pounds. The JC3000 is 8 pounds. The JC3000 shoot is also narrow and would be safe for children. And as I write, the JC3000 is on sale at $99! The two juicers I am talking about are vertical and I find easy to store. In fact, my dad is able to put the JC3000 together and store it, which makes for quick juicing. Also the H3000 in black or red, a horizontal juicer, is on sale for $99. I have never seen these juicers on sale.

Omega is supposed to be the best. It’s a tough decision because of the expense. I don’t need vitamins because the juicer cracks open the vitamins and minerals that just don’t happen with chewing. And I would have to eat two kale leaves, one cup of spinach, one lemon, one apple, and half a cucumber. I wouldn’t want to chew that for breakfast, but mixed in a drink—it’s delicious.

Another concern you may have is the cost of the juice. I figured out it is roughly about $6 per 16-ounce juice. In a 31-day month that is $186. I was easily spending that in vitamins each month. Now I’m not. I feel better too because my vitamins come from live, not overly processed food. If you don’t like veggies you’ll loved them juiced.

The juicers also come with a recipe book. And the delivery time was about a week for the JC3000 which I ordered in February. So go catch that sale at Omega Juicers. If you still can’t decide John on DiscountJuicers YouTube Channel makes entertaining juicing videos and sells different kinds of juicers at And here are the Mason jars I like on Amazon. I hope this helps someone who is thinking about buying a juicer. I do not get paid to say this. I just find joy in juicing. I hope you do too.

And Happy Saint Patrick’s Day! May you have luck with a mermaid!

Happy Juicing and Happy Vegan!

Copyright 2022 Melissa Crismon