Everyday Cooking

Coffee Banana Smoothie (The Jumpin' Monkey)

September 26, 2013

Each Thursday, Emily Vikre (a.k.a fiveandspice) will be sharing a new way to love breakfast -- because breakfast isn't just the most important meal of the day. It's also the most awesome.

Today: Get your meal and coffee in a single glass.

Jumpin Monkey from Food52

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When I was in high school, our town acquired a bagel shop. The kind of bagel shop that substitutes novelty for quality. The kind where you can get a French toast flavored bagel spread with chocolate-strawberry cream cheese, if you are so inclined. And because I was in high school, I was so inclined. I was thrilled.

I was also thrilled because they made blended coffee drinks, and blended coffee drinks are kind of like crack for high schoolers -- but the nearest Starbucks (this being a small town and pre the days of another Starbucks down the street from every Starbucks) was a ways away. The coffee drink my friends and I all became particularly infatuated with from the bagel shop was called the “jumpin’ monkey.” It was a frothy, icy blend of espresso, chocolate, and banana.

The other day, as I was staring at a pile of bananas that were on their way south, a memory of the jumpin’ monkey suddenly flitted into my mind. And there it stayed. It struck me that, while a French toast flavored bagel is almost certainly not actually a good idea, blending together a banana or two with some yogurt, cocoa powder, and espresso might be. So I tried it. And it was. It allows you to get your meal and your caffeine all in a single glass. Plus, it’s an excuse to eat chocolate at breakfast.

Jumpin' Monkey

The Jumpin’ Monkey

Serves 2

2 very ripe bananas, cut into chunks and frozen
2 two-ounce shots of espresso (or about 4 ounces very strong coffee), cooled
1/2 cup Greek-style yogurt
6 ounces milk
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1 tablespoon honey (optional)

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here. 

Photos by Emily Vikre

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I like to say I'm a lazy iron chef (I just cook with what I have around), renegade nutritionist, food policy wonk, and inveterate butter and cream enthusiast! My husband and I own a craft distillery in Northern Minnesota called Vikre Distillery (www.vikredistillery.com), where I claimed the title, "arbiter of taste." I also have a doctorate in food policy, for which I studied the changes in diet and health of new immigrants after they come to the United States. I myself am a Norwegian-American dual citizen. So I have a lot of Scandinavian pride, which especially shines through in my cooking on special holidays. Beyond loving all facets of food, I'm a Renaissance woman (translation: bad at focusing), dabbling in a variety of artistic and scientific endeavors.


Kaitlyn S. June 27, 2018
I am from the same hometown and know EXACTLY what shop you’re talking about! Small world.
Kat June 13, 2015
I know this recipe was posted a long time ago, but I just came across it, and believe I know which coffee shop of which you speak. I consumed this drink often, and am so so excited to have a recipe for it (especially as said place is, I believe, now no more). I know what I will be making this weekend!
Clint E. December 18, 2013
I have a Yonanas machine. It can convert a frozen banana into the perfect consistency for a smoothie. I was looking for something to add to it for a Christmas morning drink. I'm trying it with coffee in it. Can't wait. I'll try it in the morning.
fiveandspice December 22, 2013
chris S. December 3, 2013
Hey Food52, we are going to make this recipe tomorrow AM and post it out. Looks delicious and I can't wait to try. RogersFamilyCo.com
Oui, C. October 14, 2013
Not sure I would ever think to put banana and coffee together, but yours is a trusted palate, Emily, so I am totally making this. Plus with a name like The Jumpin' Monkey, I can't resist!
fiveandspice October 16, 2013
Sophia R. September 30, 2013
I started adding coffee to my banana smoothies recently as well and it is delicious! Have not tried a banana-chocolate-coffee version but I am sure that works even better, will have to try that next time!
fiveandspice October 2, 2013
Chocolate makes pretty much everything better, doesn't it?!
Claire S. September 29, 2013
Love the idea of combining breakfast and coffee into one! Do you think adding instant coffee granules (rather than brewed and cooled coffee) would work? I have some leftovers I'm trying to get rid of.

Then again, I *could* just quit being lazy and brew the instant coffee the night beforehand to let it cool fully.
fiveandspice October 2, 2013
I think you could totally use instant coffee granules and just add a little extra milk for liquid.
Claire S. October 2, 2013
Michele S. September 29, 2013
This looks amazing! Any way to eliminate the yogurt and keep the integrity?
fiveandspice October 2, 2013
If you're worried about the dairy you could use a non-dairy yogurt substitute. Otherwise to keep the same consistency you could probably throw in an extra frozen banana and a little extra milk and it would still be good.
Skye D. December 1, 2019
You can use eggnog. Or whipping cream.
Ellen F. September 29, 2013
This looks so awesome! I'm going to have this as an afternoon snack---it's not only for breakfast! also it's National Coffee Day so it's perfect! if you want more ideas on h ow to celebrate National Coffee Day, check out...
fiveandspice October 2, 2013
Yes, it totally works as an afternoon snack too.
Jesse C. September 26, 2013
sounds just right for this time of year! i made a coffee smoothie a few years back that i may need to revisit: http://semiweeklyeats.blogspot.com/2010/06/coffee-smoothie.html
fiveandspice October 2, 2013
Definitely worth revisiting!
Brette W. September 26, 2013
Confession: I still get cravings for Starbucks Double Chocolate Frappuccinos. It doesn't even have coffee in it.
fiveandspice October 2, 2013
No shame in that. We just discovered a coffee shop in town that serves something called a "soft serve latte." So good.
Kristen M. September 26, 2013
I'm not much into smoothies (too responsible!) but I can totally get behind this. Maybe because it reminds me of a milkshake (also my guilty childhood "treat": Carnation Instant Breakfast).
fiveandspice October 2, 2013
Yes and yes!
Kacia September 26, 2013
Alternatively, you can do the same thing with unfrozen bananas and frozen iced coffee cubes. I've done this often, sometimes with a spoonful of peanut butter. It's an awesome breakfast!
fiveandspice October 2, 2013
If I could eat peanut butter I would definitely throw it in. Yum!