Easy Gorilla Green Smoothie

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gorilla green smoothie in a glass with chia seeds on top

This Gorilla Green Smoothie recipe comes from my friend Katie’s new book, The Wellness Mama Cookbook. If you’re not familiar with Wellness Mama, her site is loaded with information on natural health and wellness, particularly when it comes to parenting. I always turn to Katie’s website when I’m looking for a natural solution for my kids– like making homemade elderberry syrup.

I recently had the opportunity to chat with Katie on her podcast, and we covered everything from detoxing, to feeding picky kids, to why we both love dates, and more. You can listen to our podcast together here.

the wellness mama cookbook

Katie sent me a complimentary copy of her book, and it’s loaded with real food recipes that are all grain-free, encouraging readers to make more vegetable-centric choices. The book does contain meat and dairy, so it’s not a great fit for my vegan and vegetarian readers, but it’s perfect for anyone looking to transition away from a diet of processed foods. Katie’s recipes are all easy and familiar, including favorites like chai coconut granola, angel food cake smoothie, sausage breakfast hash, chicken piccata, dairy-free upside down pizza, grain-free chipotle chicken fingers, creamy broccoli soup, and more.

Katie gave me permission to share this easy green smoothie from her book, so I hope you’ll enjoy it! Her recipe combines delicious tropical fruits with protein-rich chia seeds and sneaky spinach for a sweet green treat with a protein punch.

gorilla green smoothie in a glass with chia seeds and a straw on top

overhead green smoothie
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3.92 from 23 votes

Gorilla Green Smoothie

This Gorilla Green Smoothie is an easy way to sneak more fruits and veggies into your day. Made with spinach, tropical fruits, and chia seeds for protein.
Course Breakfast, Drinks
Cuisine American
Keyword Gorilla Green Smoothie, Green Smoothie
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 minute
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 2
Calories 279kcal


  • 1 orange
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 2 cups Coconut Milk or Almond Milk
  • 1 cup frozen pineapple
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon collagen powder (optional)


  • Peel the orange, remove any seeds, and place in the blender. Wash and dry the spinach and add to the blender with the remaining ingredients. Blend until smooth.


Calories: 279kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 68mg | Potassium: 583mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 22g | Vitamin A: 2700IU | Vitamin C: 133.7mg | Calcium: 580mg | Iron: 2.3mg
Per Serving: Calories: 279, Fat: 8g, Carbohydrates: 29g, Fiber: 10g, Protein: 8g

Reprinted from The Wellness Mama Cookbook © 2014, 2016 by Wellness Mama (Harmony Books, Penguin Random House LLC).  

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Way too much sugar here to be healthy. Pass. I use both kale and spinach in our daily smoothies but NO fruit. If I want a sweet taste, I use Stevia.

    Megan Gilmore

    The sugar found in fresh fruit is not the same as industrial fructose or table sugar. I write more about the research done on fruit intake here: https://detoxinista.com/2015/08/should-you-limit-your-fruit-intake/

    I also shared why I stopped using stevia here: https://detoxinista.com/2016/03/why-i-stopped-using-stevia/


      Are you nuts or just on drugs? Our body does NOT have one door for “natural sugar” and another one for processed sugars. Table sugar is glucose and fructose and so is ALL FRUIT!! Bananas are 91% sugar and starch, period. I don’t know where you studied nutrition but it didn’t involve biochemistry as it should have. To qote Wikipedia, in case yhou don’t believe me, “Sucrose is a common saccharide found in many plants and plant parts. Saccharose is an obsolete term for sugars in general, especially sucrose.[6] The molecule is a disaccharide combination of the monosaccharides glucose and fructose with the formula C12H22O11.” That’s the same formula in ALL fruits!!! I doubt you will publish this.


        Did you happen to notice that this is for two servings?!?! And there was absolutely no call for that level of rudeness. Seriously, the next time you want to be taken seriously,don’t quote wikipedia.


          I read a LOT more peer-reviewed research than you do in the journals and NOT from Dr. Gregor’s site. . I quoted Wikipedia because it is also referenced from peer review articles and thought you would find that definition helpful to understand that ALL sugar is made exactly the same — in food and processed from food. I’ve been doing it for years including when I taught nutrition in the University of Colorado Medical School to pediatricians and University of Texas at Edinburg to nursing students. Fructose is metabolized in the liver into triglycerides and LDL-b small particles that form arterial plaque. So I know exactly what sugar called fructose does — and none of it is any good. There is NO biochemical reason to eat sugars of any kind. Our body runs on blood glucose which the liver will make off of fat and proteins totally without cabs or sugars of any kinds. Phytonutrients are NOT critical to our bodies when they are totally inundated with the SUGARS in the foods. SUGAR causes heart disease just as explained above. I receive Dr. Gregor’s work all the time and his work is very heavily weighted to the vegetarian angle just as was Ancel Keys selective report that got us on this high carb low fat kick that is NOT healthy by any stretch of the imagination.


          Yes I noticed it was for 2 servings but the total sugars is STILL way too high. I apologize for the rudeness — it was meant as a joke I say to my friends and husband all the time. And I should have explained it as a joke with maybe a happy face? There’s nothing wrong with Wikipedia — if you both to look at it’s explanation of sucrose that I included, at the bottom of the page you will see the references form which the information was gleaned.

        Megan Gilmore

        Your comment has been published; I love having a respectful conversation about different nutrition theories. I suggest you look at peer-reviewed research rather than wikipedia, which literally can be written by anyone without any research to back it up. Dr. Michael Gregor is great at sharing peer-reviewed nutrition facts: http://nutritionfacts.org/video/if-fructose-is-bad-what-about-fruit/


          Yay. Level headed discussion.


        Fruits have phytonutrients and phytochemicals that make them good for you and prevent disease, unlike processed sugar. You should read Dr. Fuhrmann’s book Eat to Live. You will think differently about sugar from fruit.


          There is far more disease called AGEs and overweight, obese, morbidly obese all caused by more carbs than we need that becomes blood sugar and stored energy called fat made ouit of unused sugars. The phytonutrients are just an excuse to overlook the far more critical high sugar content of fruits that cause disease, the latest one being that glycation (sugar-coating of all body cells) is the “tipping point” cause of Alzheimer’s Disease. I have read his book and Dr. Fuhrmann has never met a sugar he doesn’t like. He’s way behind the research on fats and high sugars in our diet. Again, with all respect, sugar is sugar is sugar and there’s NO biochemical difference between that in fruit than in veggies. In fact, if you ever decide to take biochemistry, you will be taught that blood sugar does NOT need dietary sugar or carbs of any kind to be made — it has been made off fats and proteins since Woman stood upright.


        Wow, such an aggressive comment. Who says “are you nuts or just on drugs” and thinks that’s normal? If you can’t state your point in a respectful manner then please just close the website and move on with your life. BTW, Wikipedia isn’t the best source to be getting your “facts” from.


        Honestly, Judith, you might tone down the harsh tone here. We are all in this to provide healthier means to our diets, and while you have strong opinions on what is ‘right,’ please be considerate of your delivery.


        Are you nuts or just on drugs? Our bodies are made to process whole fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. Made by nature, and at one point in our evolution almost all we could get. The amounts are the key. But anyone who eschews fruit for a sweetener made in a lab (no matter whether it first came from a leaf) has lost track of logic. Eat real food. And live and let live. Everyone has an opinion, but maybe let everyone do what they think is right for themselves with a little less judgement.


        LMAO, Wikipedia is THE SOURCE, LMAO…Lady, please, have some fruit – you need it for your mental health. Megan, thank you very much for all you do – you are very knowledgeable, and your site is fantastic.


      I agree Megan…I’m a Pilates instructor & eat tons of fruit. I don’t like it when i hear people avoid fruit because they say it has “sugar” in it. Look on YouTube people! Look at how many vegetarians eat tons of fruit & look gorgeous & great bodies.


    Judith if you don’t believe in eating this way (fresh fruit and unrefined sugars) then I don’t understand why you are reading this blog. I cringe to think what type of food you feed your family. I don’t understand how you can think something natural like an apple or banana can be bad for you. We eat tons of fruit around here and we are all healthy! If you don’t agree then go read some ketogenic blog or whatever you believe in.

    Laura ~ Raise Your Garden

    I absolutely LOVE Stevia as well and actually grow it in my home to use as a sugar substitute. But it’s not perfect for everyone, for example, I in my last weeks of a 3rd trimester pregnancy. Pregnant woman need to avoid stevia, it it bad for the developing baby and can increase miscarriage, not something I’m willing to risk. So this smoothie does allow me to satisfy my sweet tooth on God made sugars. And I just did my 1-hour glucose test and the results were spot-on perfect even though I have been on the diabetes fence for years now!! So something must be working. Eating clean, but indulging in fruit has been a great compromise for me and for that reason, I do and will try this smoothie.


    fruit sugar is not unhealthy. your mindset about food is unhealthy.


I think the smoothie looks great. As a mom with five kids, it is important to give kids sweet healthy stuff instead of candy. Fruit is good. Veggies are good. My kids love smoothies and I often turn them into frozen treats, as well. Calories are important. Sugar, yes natural fruit sugar, is important for energy I children and active adults.


    There is absolutely NO reason to give children any sweet tasting fruits at all. Veggies have more more critical nutrients in them at much higher levels than in any and all fruits. The SUGAR is higher in fruits but SUGAR is NOT a nutrient!! It yields nothing but glycation (sugar-coating) of all the cells in the body and is the basic cause of all heart disease. Read Dr. John Yudkin’s book “Pure White and Deadly” either the old one years ago or the new updated one. Read Dr. Richard K Lustig, Endocrinologist in San Francisco about sugar and what over-consumption does to young children. He has some great presentations on his YouTube page called “Sugar” The Bitter Truth”. Our bodies do NOT recognize fruit sugar as healthier than any other sugar. They are the exact same molecules and chemical compounds of a single molecular state. He specializes in children’s endocrine problems because of high sugar consumption.


      All well documented, Judith. When one is passionate about something, we have a tendency to ‘raise our voice’ even when writing. You gave useful information (thank you Detoxinsita for publishing it), even the information on those small L-bb’s…and all allopathic DRs look at is the LDL ( small bbs important) and forget about the HDL which may protecting it all. Thanks again.

Marcella Idsinga

Ummmm…. z??

This smoothie look yummy to me. Can’t wait to try it!


Interesting comments. I was just curious to find out what everyone thinks is the healthiest way to nourish our bodies. I was just at Barnes & Noble today and I was quite amazed at all the different books on what’s healthy/what’s not healthy….and even more amazing is the fact that more books come out every year on the subject. Nutrition doesn’t seem to be an exact science. The government has even changed food guidelines (i.e. food pyramid) over the years. I’m not convinced any one person has it all figured out. There’s a lot of information out there. We have to make the wisest choices we can with the knowledge we have, and for every family that may look different.


    The book: EAT RIGHT FOR YOUR BLOOD TYPE may be helpful in choosing the foods that feed your system and those that are poison. Eat any sweet: natural fruit or processed and it is metabolized the same way. Look at the size of people today – all foods are inundated with some sort of sweetness. Nothing balances out sugar. There is no such thing today as eating in moderation. When growing up my mother limited our fruit intake to an occasional whole banana, apple or orange, pear and fruits in season. We did not overeat or crave foods. She made a chocolate marble cake from time to time, but otherwise we ate sensibly sitting down – never on the run or standing. We were sportive. Sensible advice from 2 parents who lived well into their nineties. Thanks for the lecture Judith. Very interesting and well written. (Do I use a smiley face now?)


no one asked you about your opinion or a lecture on sugar, Judith. please let everyone just make their own decisions without being so judgy. i just wanted a yummy smoothie recipe and this one looks amazing. thanks for the post, Megan.


I agree….Nobody asked for your opinion or a lecture on sugar, Judith! It is extremely rude to read a blog/recipe and then rip in to the author. Just don’t make it if it does not appeal to your palate.
🙂 I think the recipe sounds great, Megan! I enjoy reading your posts.


    Agree. Judy i feel bad for your kids if they’re deprived of the delicious fruits God created.?


Looks yummie and want to try it! My toddler loves smoothies, so do we. Maybe there is a lot of sugar in it, but I think the coconut milk balances it out.
For a long time I tried to read nearly everything about nutrition and tried so many different things, but life (and my toddler) taught me to just listen to my body.
We drink our fruit smoothies and eat date-nut-energy-balls (thanks Megan! 😉 whenever it feels right and we need energy without feeling heavy.. Some bodies maybe do well with fruit sugar, some not. Every expert tells you something different, but only you know best how it feels in your own body. Everything too extreme isn’t good, I think – in every way. Just relax 😉


I think this smoothie will be a great way to sneak more vegetables into my kids diet. There is no way I could cut out fruit from my kids diet. My kids go to school where the majority of the kids still eat sandwiches with white bread and processes meats, cookies like Oreos and a variety of chips. So .I think it is a huge improvement when I send my kids to school with a clementine and 1 paleo treat. I I knew a mother who restricted her kids diet so much that when they grew up, they all became severely obese. I think they were trying to make up for loss time. Thankfully they are all healthy now.

I think my high schooler would disown me if I started to send her to school with containers of cauliflower and peppers and told her no more fruit! She feels different enough following mostly a paleo diet. I save the vegetables for the house.


It is completely unrealistic to think anyone could go through life without consuming any form of sugar. Maybe occasionally if you’re doing a cleanse, but not all the time. Where’s the enjoyment in life otherwise? Great to be mindful of your eating, but eating in moderation and living a healthy lifestyle is what’s important. The people reading this post are already being conciencsious. Go educate people who have no clue about nutrition, but if you do it in the fashion you did above, you will make no impact and will have no followers. Thanks for the great ideas Megan!


Def think Judith’s comment were a bit rude, how boring Ian life if we can’t even have some fruit to enjoy!! It’s still way healthier than what soooo many people eat, I’m all for lots of fruit, tasty and healthy!
I’ve been looking for a smoothie with pineapple in it!! Does it curdle a bit if you leave it too long?? I haven’t had the greatest luck with citrusy/acidic fruits and smoothies…
will have to try this one next week 🙂


Thank you for sharing this appetizing recipe.
Maybe Judith should start her own blog.
I often find that it is a lot easier to criticize others than to actualy do something, just saying…


I’ll have to listen to that podcast 🙂 My fave smoothie is this one http://www.realsoupfortherealsoul.com/?p=1512 … I drink it without fail every single morning and never ever tire (I’m such a creature of habit)


Judith doesn’t need to eat sugar ’cause she’s sweet enough already!

Been loving the new cookbook, Megan!

Kathleen Schell

When I discovered the Detoxinista blog I had just been diagnosed as a typeII diabetic with insulin levels four times higher than the high range. I have used many of Megan’s recipes for “treats” and I find that I do not over indulge but feel satisfied with just a small amount without having cravings for them. My insulin level and hgbA1c are now normal range. I agree that everyone has to know their own bodies. I can tolerate fruits, dates, and maple syrup. These work so much better for me than deprivation or Stevia. Thank you Megan for changing my life and I will try this latest smoothie posting. I am a nurse practitioner and feel fairly knowledgeable about nutrition.


Jesus, Judith, just shut up already. There are about 5,000,000 different smoothie recipes on the internet. If you don’t like THIS particular one, then just move on. Some of us like fruit. And fruit and spinach is healthier than processed food any day so what’s the problem?

Please don’t answer that; it was rhetorical.


Hey Judith — can you provide links to all the episodes of My 300 Pound life where they complain about being morbidly obese because they ate too many bananas? Thanks.


Hi Megan! Interesting discussion here, as I’m recently more sugar-free than ever in my life. I was just wondering if you ever have trouble with candida with all the dates and fruit you eat? When I initially came across your site, you used stevia, but now you seem to abstain from it altogether. I don’t find I put weight on with eating fruit, but it doesn’t do my body good either, in relation to yeast. Just wondering your thoughts on that angle. 🙂

    Megan Gilmore

    After some trial and error on my part , I actually don’t believe that the candida protocol that has you eliminate fruit is all that effective. I did it for months, and never felt even remotely better– my skin suffered, my energy suffered, and my cravings were through the roof with all the stevia I used. It also had me a bit food obsessed, probably due to all the restriction, and that left me emotionally miserable. Sometimes I feel like we have to go with our gut-instincts, and mine say that a better healing protocol would be to follow something like the SCD diet (Breaking The Vicious Cycle has a great explanation of how fruit sugars are digested before they can feed bad bacteria), or even Medical Medium’s protocol, which is a bit radical, but his methods have healed too many people for me to dismiss it.


Oh my! Such a debate over a smoothie. I love to hear all sides and ideas, but yikes to the mean spirited approach on some of these comments.

Thank you for sharing this, Megan! I just came across this book and was curious about it. After I go grocery shopping, I’ll be trying this one! Sounds yummy.

diana v.

sounds delish-and I agree WOW, such a heated response to natures pure lovely fruits and vegetables.
add more whole foods and you can’t go wrong.
I would much rather add a banana to my smoothie than stevia, if added sweetness is what I wanted.
stay positive and nice y’all


I think you should add Oreos! ???? I’m sorry…. had to add some levity to the rather intense sugar discussion. Megan I’ve been a candida sufferer for years and experience exactly what you mentioned – cravings and food obsession. I’m interested in looking into the two diets you referenced here. Just stumbled on your site and I’m very interested in your recipes. Thanks!


Interesting discussion. The county where I live has a terrible obesity rate for children — 60 percent! This is a new and terrible development since the introduction of highly processed foods in children’s diet combined with more sedentary behaviors (TV/computers). Regarding diet — look at the sweeteners in most processed and fast foods — I mean, you can’t even purchase a jar of jam these days without screening it for HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP (when the manufacturer is honest enough the list that laboratory creation of the U.S. agricultural system that overproduces corn and attempts to make cheap uses for the surplus). Same goes for supermarket pickles and other condiments, canned goods and frozen foods. I would imagine it is a rare child who eats only whole food ingredients and dishes made from scratch without high fructose corn syrup. And high fructose corn syrup cannot be processed by the liver. It is a tragic situation. (Check out these videos at youtube — Sugar: The Bitter Truth — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBnniua6-oM and Dr. Lutig’s more recent lecture https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gmC4Rm5cpOI ). But perhaps most visitors to this website already know these facts.

Regarding this recipe, I personally cannot eat raw spinach; it truly slows down my thyroid function ( I feel cold, sluggish, etc.) I will try this recipe but substitute a bunch of fresh parsley to see if that works. Great website here! Thank you.

Jacqie Muscha

Not to beat a dead horse, but whatever happened to the old saying, “if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all?” I think Judith needs some SWEETness in her life! No one can tell me that eating a piece of fruit is one and the same thing like in eating say an Oreo cookie (in regards to the sugar content.) Yes, both have sugar, but there is absolutely no nutritional value in any processed sweet treat whatsoever. Whereas a piece of fruit offers at least vitamins and minerals. But I digress! On to my real question at hand. I found the few comments in regard to candida and cravings and food obsession very interesting. So I’m not the only one who suffers from such things? I haven’t been diagnosed as having candida, but everything I’ve read at least points to me assuming I have some degree of it within my body. I appreciate the suggestions because I have tried everything to get rid of the cravings and food obsessions and nothing has worked. With the exception of trying a parasite cleanse which I’ve been told is causing the cravings. Any thoughts on that? For my personal food and health struggles, I really have not found anything I could stick with for long. I’ve tried everything from macrobiotic to paleo. Nothing has lasted for me. It seems like no matter how healthy I eat, the cravings and food obsessions are still there. I don’t really understand it. Maybe it’s a mind thing. Any suggestions for that? So many people have done this Whole30 thing, but so many of them don’t stick to the lifestyle after the 30 days are over, and I ask then what’s the point? I’m so glad I found your website, Megan, because I think it’s one of the first mostly vegan and vegetarian sites that actually make eating that way look enticing, delicious, and not so intimidating. I plan on trying the 3 day detox you emailed me when I signed up for your newsletter sometime this summer after all the traveling I’ll be doing. (I’ll need a reset for sure.) I’m currently full-time breastfeeding my one year old, so I wasn’t sure if I should give the detox a try while breastfeeding or wait. I’ll be buying your cookbooks also. Keep up the amazing work. Thank you for your time. I welcome any suggestions from fellow readers too. As a side note, my now five year old was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes four years ago, so I have been doing a ton of research and trying new things all this time. I’m always open to new suggestions, ideas, or recommendations. The more knowledge I have the better. But then, again, maybe it has come down to what you said, “go with your gut.” I think it’s my gut that needs fixed!!


Made the smoothie for breakfast and it is delicious!!! Creamy, refreshing and satisfying. My bf loved it!! Thanks!


Why does the fruit have to be frozen?? Just curious. I’m a newbie

    Megan Gilmore

    Frozen fruit creates more of an ice cream texture. If you use fresh fruit, the result will be more watery/liquidy, which is still fine, just not the same texture as intended.


My girls (age 4 & 20 months) and I just made this smoothie. We all enjoyed it. Thank you for sharing!


Tell that to a frutarian! They eat nothing but fruit! And as far as natural sugar from processed…when we were wee tiny babies our Mothers milk was full of natural sugar. I think it does a body good,Of course everything including veggies in moderation. I doubt God created fruit to just drop and go to waste on the ground!!

Temperence Petereson

My kids LOVED this smoothie and I enjoyed it too. Keep up the good work I’m enjoying your blog. 🙂 thanks!


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