Smoothie recipes, like recipes in general, are usually very specific about ingredients. It can be frustrating to find a recipe that you want to make, only to realize you’re missing one ingredient. If that happens in the morning when you’re trying to make quick, healthy smoothie to get yourself out the door in a hurry, it can be especially frustrating.

Wouldn't it be easier if you didn't have to have a recipe to make a smoothie? Alexis Kornblum from Lexi’s Clean Kitchen created an infographic that demonstrates how to build a smoothie with whatever you have on hand. You may already be adept at this – throwing ingredients into a blender and coming up with something nutritiously drinkable. If you’re not, this handy guide will help you get there.

I asked Alexis a couple of questions about the information, and she was more than happy to answer.

MNN: In the Make it Creamy row, you have both chia seeds and gluten-free oats listed as ingredients that could be added. They don’t seem like creamy ingredients at first glance. How do they add to the creaminess of a smoothie?

Alexis: Those are totally two surprising ingredients- but, they work! Chia seeds expand in liquid, so when blended they add a nice thick texture with tons of added health benefits. Likewise with gluten-free oats, often people use them to make the smoothie a meal- acting as a healthy thickening agent.

You never mention cow’s milk, only almond or coconut milk. Why is that? 

This is simply because the graphic was created to be dairy-free! I always suggest raw cow's milk, pasture-raised, and organic with cow's milk whenever possible.

You mention both fruit and vegetables. Can you replace the one cup of vegetables with an additional cup of fruit? Or, replace the two cups of fruit with two additional cups of vegetables?

1:1 for sure! Or, you can do 1 cup of frozen or fresh fruit, and 1 cup of the veggie. Take my Creamy Green Smoothie for example, which has both spinach and banana. 

Looking at the suggestions, I have the ingredients on hand to make an orange juice, frozen banana, romaine, chia seed, cocoa powder, honey smoothie. That doesn’t sound like such a bad combination, does it?

Infographic used with permission by Lexi's Clean Kitchen and American Express' Tumblr.  

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Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.