Monkey Salad

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A simple fruit salad of cashews, bananas, and coconut chips packs a sweet, yet filling punch. This Monkey Salad is perfect for breakfast next to an egg or two.

Monkey Salad | Good Cheap Eats

First up. No, this salad does not contain monkeys. That would be gross. It contains ingredients that I imagine a monkey would like to eat. If it makes you feel better, you may call it Salad for Monkeys. Either way, make it.

Second, this is a simple, simple recipe. It’s basically a non-recipe. But, it’s super good and a daily part of my breakfast. Yes, really.

As you know already, I’m eating a weird diet that has me abstaining from sugar, grain, dairy, soy, and alcohol. With all the hidden fillers and additives in foods, it’s actually harder than the simple obvious reasons. Did you know most canned tuna contained soy?

I say weird with my tongue in cheek. I feel so good and not exhausted like I’ve been for the last three months. It’s not weird at all. It’s amazing.

Anyway, once I find something I like that has foods I can eat, I’m going with it, people. Like skillet eggs? Yep, having them every day. (Except when we’ve run out of greens.)

Monkey salad? Totally. Black coffee with coconut milk? Works for me.

In my former life, I drank my coffee with TWO teaspoons of sugar and about TWO tablespoons of cream. You can imagine the change, can’t you? Since I like sweet with my coffee, I eat this salad alongside. The bananas and cashews both have a little sweet to them that offsets the bitterness of the coffee quite nicely.

Monkey Salad | Good Cheap Eats

Now, a word about bananas. I am very picky about bananas. I do not like banana-flavored anything. That’s as gross as a salad made of monkey meat.

I like banana bread. I like fresh bananas. I like bananas in smoothies. I like fresh bananas whole, not sliced. I like things the way I like them.

And I most definitely do not like sliced bananas in things, especially not fruit salad. It gets all slimy. Have you noticed that?

But, when I started this diet I realized that I was going to need to get creative, bust out of the old, and find some new favorites. I decided that I could not add other fruit to this. That would increase the slime factor.

I also committed to eating it rather quickly before it could brown, or you know, slimy.

The end result? This fabulous and filling and altogether EASY salad to make. Prepare individual bowls to keep things nice and dry. Promise?

PS I find the coconut chips, or unsweetened flaked coconut at my local Sprouts, a health-foodish kind of store. If you store doesn’t have them, you can order them from Amazon. I’ve done that also.

0 from 0 votes
Monkey Salad
Prep Time
5 mins
Total Time
5 mins
A simple fruit salad of cashews, bananas, and coconut chips packs a sweet, yet filling punch. Monkey Salad is perfect for breakfast alonside to an egg or two.
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Monkey salad
Servings: 1
Calories: 369 kcal
Author: Jessica Fisher
  • 1 banana peeled and sliced
  • 1 handful roasted and unsalted cashews
  • 1 handful coconut chips
  1. Layer ingredients in a bowl. Do not stir. Enjoy immediately.
Recipe Notes

Nutritional values are approximate.Β 

Nutrition Facts
Monkey Salad
Amount Per Serving
Calories 369 Calories from Fat 207
% Daily Value*
Fat 23g35%
Saturated Fat 9g56%
Sodium 10mg0%
Potassium 671mg19%
Carbohydrates 41g14%
Fiber 6g25%
Sugar 17g19%
Protein 7g14%
Vitamin A 76IU2%
Vitamin C 10mg12%
Calcium 15mg2%
Iron 3mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


How do YOU like bananas?

Updated April 22, 2017.

Monkey Salad | Good Cheap Eats

About Jessica Fisher

I believe anyone can prepare delicious meals—no matter their budget.

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  1. Sandi says

    Do you think using the salted cashews would work? I wasn’t sure if the sweet/salty combo would complement or detract from the overall taste.

    Yes, bananas get brown and slimy when chopped up and mixed into things. Blech. Like you, I can do banana in baked goods or raw and fresh out of the peel. I can put them in cereal, but only if they are just peeled and I eat it right away. Otherwise, I’m probably not overly interested. Banana-flavored anything is easily passed up. They do seem to go well with coconut, though. I guess it is that from-the-islands cohesion.

    • Jessica says

      @Sandi, I don’t know about salted. Try it and let me know.

      • Lisa says

        are these coconut chips dehydrated and sweetened coconut? Or is it unsweetened coconut?

        • Janel Piersma says

          Because this is a recipe that Jessica made when she was on the Whole 30 diet, they are unsweetened coconut chips. I’ve used unsweetened shredded coconut since I couldn’t find unsweetened chips. It was yummy that way too.

    • Nia says

      @Sandi, Did you try this with the salted cashews? I thought it was delicious. Against the coconut I couldn’t really taste that the cashews were salted.

  2. Rachel W. says

    This sounds delicious. Except I hate coconut. I love coconut-scented things but not the taste or texture of actual coconut. (Almost the reverse of your banana issue.) I love bananas sliced up in my morning oatmeal. I don’t know if it is because we tend to buy them more green than yellow but the slices have yet to brown in the time it takes me to eat my oatmeal. Ugh. Slimy, brown bananas are nasty.

    Have you ever tried egg/banana pancakes? I recently stumbled upon the recipe on a YouTube channel (Blogilates, if you were wondering). I plan to try making them tomorrow. See if they are tasty. :]

    • Jessica says

      @Rachel W., I’ve heard of those pancakes, but they don’t really sound appealing to me. And on the Whole 30 they say not to recreate your “illegal” favorites because they might trigger cravings.

      • Nik says

        @Jessica, I love them but I don’t like regular pancakes, so maybe that makes them less of a trigger.

        • Jessica says

          Then I say go for it. πŸ˜‰

  3. Carla says

    Looks good–will give it a try when I’m able. Cashews are my favorite nut so they are dangerous to have on hand. That and we have to be real careful due to a nut allergy in the house. Yes to banana bread, pancakes, cut up in cereal. I can eat a whole banana but it’s one of those “I need something bland yet filling quick thing to eat” items. My tween loves them as long as they are not brown. My teen refuses to eat them unless in baked goods or smoothies—except for a fruit pie I make. That was fun with him trying to find extra potassium sources due to all his leg cramps. No, “Just eat a banana” for him. πŸ˜‰

    • Amy Barclay says

      My chiropractor said to eat regular yellow mustard for leg cramps. It really works. She said there is more potassium than in a banana, which surprised me, and recommended I keep a few packets from the fast food restaurant in my car and at work, and when you get a cramp, one packet should do the trick.

      • Carla says

        @Amy Barclay, That sounds horrible—LOL. But it’s worth a try!

        • Amy Barclay says

          Yes, I was skeptical too, but had bad leg cramps one night and did it, and they were totally gone within 15 minutes, and they usually lasted hours.

  4. kelly d says

    ok..i am such a nerd!!i am trying to eat healthier and decided to try out this plan..the nerdy part comes in that i am copying your menu..haha, i like tohave a plan layed out for me so i dont have to think too!!so today i started with skillet eggs(had kale and shallots on hand…yum!!)and then made some monkey salad(with almonds)also yum..only problem..i didnt have any coconut chips..only shredded..i am off to Amazon to order some!i am trying to drink lots of water in anticipation for headaches that are gonna come when my body finds out i dont have diet coke to fall back on!!lol thanks jess!!

    • Jessica says

      @kelly d, haha! Copy away.

      I’m sure that shredded coconut would work fine, just a slightly different texture.

    • Jane says

      @kelly d, I went through a Diet Coke detox, too. How’d you fare? It was tough the first week for me. I did drink some unsweetened tea and coffee to help with the caffeine headaches a bit. I’m better now. It’s crazy the hold some things had on me!!!!

    • Oh — I’d love to hear how you liked almonds in the monkey salad. I’m not a fan of cashews. πŸ™

      • It’s very good with almonds and dark chocolate. Tastes like an almond joy. πŸ˜‰

  5. Karen says

    No banana flavored anything. Not in anything, including banana bread. No brown freckles on the peel, just a slight touch of green at either end. Peel it and eat it, breaking pieces off, not slicing it, because I don’t like that slick texture. So I have about a two day window with bananas. I wonder where my kids got their pickiness….

  6. Olivia McGarvey says

    I started reading up on the Whole30 program because of different posts I have read on your blog. Does the coconut milk in your coffee align with the “diet”? I am a big coffee drinker and am interested in trying this out because I consistently have low energy levels.

    • Jessica says

      @Olivia McGarvey, yes, it’s a legal way to add “cream”. I previously was a 2t sugar/2 T cream kind of person. Now I drink my coffee guilt free.

      • Tara says

        What type of coconut milk and coffee are you using? I’ve tried this and feel like my coffee tastes like dirty water. Oh, how I miss coffee so far!

        • Jessica says

          @Tara, coffee is Peets or Starbucks dark roasts. Coconut milk is canned, light, Trader Joe’s.

  7. KimH says

    I love banana anything. The texture of slimy bananas or okra for that matter dont bother me.. Your Monkey salad looks and sounds wonderful. Im going to have to get myself some of those coconut chips.. I get unsweetened coconut at the Amish bulk store but I’ll have to look for those at TJs.

    Once up on a time, I was a 2 T sugar 2 T cream coffee drinker.. today I drink it black. Every once in a while if Im sick, I’ll crave a sickly sweet creamy coffee, and I’ll indulge.. but get the thickest grossest mouth feel afterwards that I have to run brush my teeth.. I dont drink it that way much anymore..

  8. Lari says

    You made me laugh w/ your banana thing…I’m that way with apples. I like crisp apples. I’m not even a huge fan of apple pie because hello…mushy apples. My husband just rolls his eyes at me. Your Monkey Salad sounds yummy. I do like bananas if they’re ripe enough. The ones in the US though are not near as yummy as the ones I grew up eating in Brasil.

  9. Kristy says

    Your pics this week inspired me to try this. I used sliced almonds because I didn’t have cashews. It was delicious!! I love how Whole 30 encourages you to try new things (or things you thought you didn’t like). My aversion used to always be bell peppers of any kind. Now, I really like them! It’s awesome that you’re getting your energy back and feel great.

    • Jessica says

      @Kristy, yes, I’m definitely busting out and trying new foods.

  10. Stacy says

    I had this for my snack today w/ salted cashews and it was yummy!

  11. Brandi says

    Yum! Finally had this today, I have been wanting it since you posted a picture. My store was out of unsalted cashews so I used salted. Really tasty!!

  12. Heidi says

    Would sugar free coffee creamer work for the diet? And use only 1 TBSP? I’ve been trying to signficantly cut down on sugar and that’s what I’m doing. Wonder if that was ok on your diet?

    • Jessica says

      @Heidi, nope. Coffee creamer has all kinds of things you can’t pronounce. Those are a big no-no on the Whole30. I actually am doing fine with just coconut milk. I’m weaning my taste buds I guess.

  13. I added some strawberries to my monkey salad this morning. Yummy! It’s strawberry season here in Korea, so they’re getting cheaper. Yay!! They make the salad really pretty too. πŸ™‚

  14. MaryBeth says

    I’m having trouble finding coconut chips in the grocery stores near me. Do you have to order them online or are they in specialty type stores only?

  15. Natasha Pickard says

    I remembered this as I say your daughter eating the Monkey Salad. I’ve been experimenting with clean eating concept. Too my surprise my kids loved steel cut oats with strawberries and blueberries and Blue Agave. They couldn’t believe I didn’t add brown sugar/sugar! Yay for me

  16. Patti Patti says

    My family recently started the SCD diet. We were able to jump straight into eating nuts right from the get go without any adverse affects. I found your recipe and we LOVE it at our house. I use sliced bananas, any combo of mixed nuts, coconut flakes and a drizzle of honey. They gobble it down. It makes for a nice egg free breakfast.

  17. Jane says

    I’m on day 16 of my first Whole30. I agree, it’s the best thing I’ve ever done! I get Thai Kitchen coconut milk i(no light for me!) n my black coffee, now. I was a cream and sugar girl, too. I didn’t know you were W30 when I clicked on the link to this posted by Kutchen Stewardship this morning. I’m glad I did. I am looking for other W30 people who have good, nutritious and easy ideas!

    If any of you have never checked out Whole30, please do! I have gotten off my nightly Ambien, one antidepressant and am weaning off the other. I’ve gone down a pants size and have never felt better. It WILL change your life! And you can enjoy guilt-free monkey salad!!!!

    • Jane says

      @Jane, I have some type-O’s, sorry! I don’t always hit the right keys on my phone.

  18. Cheri A says

    I finally tried this Monkey Salad for breakfast yesterday. Oh, wow! Thank you so much! It was wonderful. πŸ™‚

    • Jessica says

      @Cheri A, I cannot keep the ingredients in the house long enough! We are always running out.

      • Cheri A says

        @Jessica, I can see why you can’t keep it in stock. I’ve been eating it nearly every morning this week, and I can’t believe how satisfied I am all morning and not hungry again at 10:30 a.m. or so. The only problem is that I’m eating this illegally due to my dd’s nut allergy. I’m eating breakfast after she leaves and storing them in the garage. And I started buying organic bananas a few months ago at Aldis. Wow. What a difference in taste. My family is going through at least 4 pounds of bananas a week, among other fruits. πŸ™‚

        • Jessica says

          @Cheri A, it’s so funny how wildly popular such a simple salad is becoming. One reader told me on Facebook that her husband takes it to work every day and now his co-workers are eating it, too!

          Glad you’re enjoying it.

  19. Kerri says

    Amen on the banana hang-ups, right there with you! If you changed your “soy” to all legumes, you would have the diet I am supposed to eat for allergies. I don’t do very well at it and just stumbled on your website through pinterest so look forward to going back through it- thanks.

  20. Shelda says

    That was really yummy! I’m thinking a little squeeze of lime juice would be nice too. Thanks for the recipe and the pretty photo.

  21. lindsay says

    I will be trying this monkey salad tomo!! πŸ™‚

  22. Where did you get the coconut chips from?

    • I’ve bought them at Sprouts and ordered them from Amazon. Bob’s Red Mill sells them.

  23. I am doing the whole 30 and just made your monkey salad! It was so delicious! Thank you!

  24. I made this and added Strawberries & fresh almond butter. Sooooo delicious and satisfying!

  25. Nina says

    Like the idea of the salad. I didn’t think we were supposed to have a whole banana at a time on whole30. But as far as not losing weight…if i ate cashews, coconut and a whole banana every day that is pretty high calorie. Even though it is good fat. I have not been worried about that just careful to get the thumb size fat at each meal and not over do that. I backed off a lot of fruit.d We were doing a fruit smoothie with isolate pea protein powder(full spectrum aminos and probiotics, no added sweetener of any kind) every am. lots of fruit and at the wrong time. Post workout. taking that out and adding a post workout right at my locker, kept me from running to the sweet fructose that did nothing to replace the glycogen depleted in muscle worked. we are on day 30. my hubby lost about 18 pounds, and i will weigh myself tmrw. I have lost inches but still have some fat pockets to delete. I have used fruit sparingly, here and there. chopped apples, blueberries or raspberries on a salad. I miss my am smoothie more than my dark chocolate addiction. For years I have carried around a blender bottle like a baby sucking down green powder with tons of fruit (or drinking homemade juiced greens. Eatiing all protein has been a challenge. We stopped eating meat 4 years ago due to my hubbys cholesterol levels. He never lost his belly fat and numbers changed some but not all that much. Im learning it has more to do with timing of carbohydrates and what kind along with triglycerides that make more of a difference. We are looking fwd to seeing results there. Hoping HDL has risen. Even though we’ve added meat, fish, eggs and chicken. All this protein has constipated me . I drank smooth move tea and had a day and a half of results and then shut down again when that was over. We are going to continue to eat clean. My husband wants his cream in coffee. coconut millk, or oils didnt cut it for him. It is hard, almost impossible, to find 100% grass fed creamer. The closest is 100% grass fed whipping cream that comes in a big glass milk bottle. Way too much at a time and pricey. He will go back to organic pastured half and half since that will be the only dairy he gets. He is not intolerant at all. Well gave more history than Intended. This has definitely set us on a path of very intentional eating. I believe it has kept me from bingeing and I am very satisfied between meals (making sure my foods are crunchy and take a while to eat.) After tasing the blended fruit i made for grandkids, I could tell I was not ready. Took me down a path I didn’t want to go!! Take care and please feel free to comment. They help us out. Blessings Nina

  26. Erica says

    I know this is an old post, but I’m trying Whole30; did well for about 10 days and then a busy week at work tanked my progress. I also lost almost 10 lbs in one week which was too much for my small 5’3″ frame. I have a question for you about the coffee. I tried canned coconut milk in my coffee and it was awful! It only made my coffee disgustingly oily. What coconut milk do you use?

    • I use the canned light coconut milk from Trader Joe’s. It’s really different than other canned brands I’ve bought.

  27. Deb says

    I started my Whole30 today but have been reading your site, and many others, for the past week for ideas. I can’t say thank you enough! So many great recipes and ideas for keeping me going. I was super skeptical about the monkey salad but SO glad I tried it. Yummy, simple, and filling! Thank you!

  28. Sandy Kelly says

    Hi , l found your boards after you pinned one of my pins. I’m delighted to have found you. Is the monkey salad eaten dry or with milk? If not, what do you recommend as l don’t like anything too dry. I suffer with chronic fatigue as well as a chemical imbalance which can cause a horrible form of depression that l battle with from time to time. I still do what l have to do . Thank God He brings me through each time it raises it’s head. So, for this reason l try to eat well. However l know l can do better, and l look forward to following you. IF you know or think of any food or juice particular that may be of help to me, l’d be happy to hear about it. Thanks from Sandy bye for now!

    • It doesn’t taste dry to me because the bananas are moist. I suppose you could add milk though. When I was eating it regularly, I was off dairy so it never crossed my mind.

    • My kids actually love it with coconut milk. I don’t like dry things, though, and I quite like this. It’s pretty similar to what we used to make when we lived in Nigeria, only we would add milk to it and cinnamon.

  29. Zoe King says

    I am in love with Monkey Salad!!! I’m on day 2 of my first Whole30 and I have been eating milk and cereal everyday for breakfast since I was about 5 years old. And THAT is a really hard habit to break! I love monkey salad because it’s similar to eating cereal or yoghurt, and it tastes amazing! I am going to try and add strawberries tomorrow, but just the plain banana-coconut-almond slivers was amazing too. Thanks Jessica!!!

  30. Amy C says

    Oh YUMMM. I loved this! I am officially off the whole 30, but I keep to a lot of the rules for my daily eating habits. I tend towards the “eat breakfast like a King, lunch like a Prince, and dinner like a Pauper” rule, and so having a big bowl of this along with my eggs really keeps me very full and protein-packed and ready to greet the day. Thanks so much for this idea!

  31. Darcy says

    Loved your idea for Monkey Salad. I was missing some warm oatmeal on a cold day and I made a twist to it. I sliced the bananas and heated them up in a non stick pan. They caramelized and were so sweet and yummy. Thanks for the non egg breakfast idea!

  32. David Do says

    I like to put a bit of 100% cocoa powder. The powder gives it a chocolatey taste!

  33. Laila says

    I really really loooovvveee thisssss <3 I've never thought of eating coconut flakes raw like that(I always toasted them before) I've been eating this almost every morning on my whole30 with an egg and some veggies πŸ™‚ I also add about half a cup of unsweetened almond milk and it makes it taste so mch better.. Along with cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger powder, just delish.

  34. Vida says

    What a simple appealing recipe! I am doing this for today breakfast. I am also eating sort of Paleo and I am constantly looking for new recipes and I am soooo happy when I find something really easy to make, filling my stomach well and full of taste! Btw cashew nuts are not cheap in Germany but I can not eat each morning oat puree for a year, right? πŸ˜‰

  35. Linda says

    I was just typing in cashews and bananas. I have a small banana every morning at work and a hand full of salted cashews. This has been my breakfast for quite a while, I just wanted to know if anyone else did it. Have Coconut oil in my coffee, so it all works out. Thanks for your original post,

    I do make some granola type bars with coconut, cashews and flax with honey and a bit of sunflower seeds.
    no banana in it. but they hit the spot for a snack.

  36. Amy says

    Add a small bit of coconut milk and it sort of brings it all together, like a salad dressing. Also, use frozen banana, blend it until smooth (frozen bananas are magic!) and then add the cashews and coconut. It’s monkey ice cream!

  37. For the best coconut cream, go to an Asian food store (Ranch 99) or an Indian food store. The best kind comes in a small carton that looks like a juice box (can’t think of the actual name). There will be Chinese writing on one side and “kara UHT NATURAL COCNUT CREAM” on the other. It’s a small white carton with a picture of a coconut. It is far better than the coconut cream or milk from TJs. It is actually thick and fatty and is as close as I think you will get to real cream for your coffee. Brand is Kara. Website is It is a product of Indonesia, but I believe it is produced/packaged in Singapore. All coconut cream and milk is NOT created equal!

  38. Kami says

    THANK YOU!! THANK YOU!! For sharing this simple yummy salad.. It has been my life saver with just starting out on the whole30.. So thankful for coming across your website.. Hugs Kami

    • So glad you like it! It’s a favorite here, too. Just watch that you’re not having too much fruit. The Whole30 police would warn against that. πŸ˜‰

  39. Sandy C says

    I thought bananas were not whole 30 compliant? I know I did the whole 30 then they said to start adding things and with the holidays I am not eating right all the time. Will be doing another Whole 30 after the first of the year but won’t be adding anything back in. I will continue to eat that way except maybe on occasion. Did you find anything after your whole 30 that you could add back in without negative consequences?

    • My complete whole 30 was 2013, so it’s been awhile. Bananas were compliant at the time, just in limited quantities. I am considering doing another in January. I’m struggling with some autoimmune thyroid issues and contemplating it.

  40. Karen J says

    I’m doing a modified whole 30 (well, actually just not eating sugar) Anyway, at Grocery Outlet I found dark chocolate coconut chips. The only ingredients are coconut, coconut nectar, cocoa powder and salt. They are delicious in monkey salad! The brand is Blue Monkey. I’m stocking up, plus they were cheap. I love finding new foods that are tasty and healthy.

  41. Rebecca says

    I’m thinking of trying it with just the banana, cashews and a dollop of coconut cream…until I can get some chips/shredded. I’m starting another whole30 next week, and love the real coconut cream in my coffee (aroyo brand…nothing added).

  42. Cynthia Settino says

    Can dried pineapple and other dried fruits be used in the Monkey salad? Also on the Whole30 diet can dark chocolate be used in the Monkey Salad

    • You can use whatever you like, however for Whole 30 you’ll want to enjoy this only every once in awhile, and without chocolate. Due to the high carbs in Monkey Salad, it isn’t recommended as a daily Whole 30 treat.

  43. Wanda says

    Your mo key salad is downright addictive! And so filling that I didn’t have room for the egg or two you suggested. Brilliant!!!

  44. Erin says

    I just ate this again – and I break the banana into large chunks bc slimy sliced bananas are very much not my thing as well. Thank you for posting this! It was so helpful during my elimination diet of 2015. I’ve been eating it on and off ever since while staying on a low- inflammation diet.

  45. Kim says

    We have taken the whole 30 concept and paleo approach even though I know banana isn’t really compliant die to much fructose. Banana is so good for us just the same right.
    We eat this salad with added almond butter and chia seeds with almond milk to make like a bowl of cereal. Eat about 4 days a week.
    Curious as to why so many people don’t eat banana

  46. Kathy says

    Sprinkle some cinnamon on. You’ll be glad you did!!

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