This granola superfood recipe is a staple in our house. It’s one of the occupational therapy recipes we love to make with kids as a life skill cooking tool, but it’s also got superfood powers (more than you may think when you think of granola as a superfood…) We’re talking about the calming benefits of heavy work through the jaw and crunching this granola superfood is one way to achieve that regulation technique!
This mama has been on a granola kick recently. We shared a picture on our Instagram feed not too long ago about a yummy pregnancy craving involving granola, peanut butter, and apples. When the granola ran out, there was nothing to do but make a batch from scratch!
This granola recipe has some major super food ingredients and is one of the many batches I’ve been experimenting with. I wanted to share this recipe because it is SO good, and the kids have been gobbling it up. Every mom wants Healthy snacks for kids and this one hits the mark! They’ve even choosing it over all of the boxed cereals we’ve got for breakfast choices.
Granola is a Calming Sensory Food
When we say that granola is a superfood, I’m not just talking about the ingredients.
Chewing crunchy and chewy foods offers calming heavy work through the jaw and mouth. This is a self-regulation tool that offers regulating and calming input. We talk about this in our resource on oral motor exercises.
Granola as a calming food can be used in a sensory diet that includes food as a tool for adding in the sensory input an individual needs throughout the day. We all need calming and organizing sensory input in the form of heavy work tasks that provide proprioceptive input through the muscles and joints.
Heavy work snacks like this granola superfood can also be incorporated into lunchboxes, breakfasts, and after school snacks to help the sensory system feel calm and restful. At school, heavy sensory input for the whole class can be incorporated at regular intervals during the day during snack time.
Incorporating heavy work (and other sensory system input) into daily functional tasks, or setting up a sensory lifestyle, are all concepts covered in the book The Sensory Lifestyle Handbook.
Granola Superfood Ingredients
What ingredients go into granola superfood? There are several and many of them are the typical super foods you think of when it comes to healthy eating with brain benefits: almonds, flaxseed, wheatgerm, walnuts, etc.
For this particular recipe, you’ll need:
- 2 cups of uncooked Oats
- 3/4 cup almonds
- 1/2 cup cranberries
- 1/4 cup uncooked quinoa
- 2 tablespoons of dark brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoons Ground Nutmeg
- 1/2 cup ground flax seed
- 1/2 cup wheat germ
- 3 teaspoons of vanilla
- 2 teaspoons of olive oil
- 1/2 cup honey
Almonds! These little buggers were chopped up and one of the super foods in this recipe.
I went with ingredients we had on hand. The cool thing about granola recipes is that you can adjust so many ingredients based on what you’ve got handy or individual tastes, and you get totally different (YUMMY) results.
There was some stealing happening.
How to make granola superfood
- Spread 2 cups of uncooked Oats (another super food!) on a large cookie sheet.
- Mix in 3/4 cup almonds.
- Add in 1/2 cup cranberries (super food!)
- Mix in 1/4 cup uncooked quinoa (super food!)
- Combine 2 tablespoons of dark brown sugar, 2 teaspoons Ground Cinnamon, and 1/2 teaspoons. Ground Nutmeg. Mix those spices into the granola mixture.
- Add 1/2 cup ground flax seed (super food!) and 1/2 cup wheat germ (super food!) to the mix.
- Toss all of these super foods together and drizzle 3 teaspoons of vanilla, 2 teaspoons of olive oil (super food!), and 1/2 cup honey (…super food on some lists, although not the link I shared above…).
- Mix it all up and throw into the pre-heated oven set at 250 degrees F for 45 min. Keep an eye on your granola and stir it all up at least 3 times. Watch it towards the end of the 45 minutes.
Now for the super super food part…I added How pretty does this look? The flax seed will give your granola a nutty taste, but it’s not overpowering and goes well with the almonds.
Yumminess. Try not to eat it while it’s still hot. Let the goodness sit on the cookie sheet until cooled and then scoop it up with a spatula into a container.
The kids gobbled up this banana-peanut butter-granola snack!
We’ve been loving our granola over Greek yogurt, with apples and peanut butter, and with milk as cereal. I love all of the healthy foods that the kids are getting with this snack/breakfast.
What other alternatives can you think of to add or substitute to your granola recipe?
Granola Superfood Substitutes
We’ve also done some of these substitutes and are definitely going to try some others. These granola add-ins also offer chewy and crunchy input through the jaw, which are calming sensory movements that activate the joint receptors and the proprioceptive sensory system.
Each of these chewy ingredients support the calming benefits of granola!
- chopped walnuts
- without quinoa
- without brown sugar
- coconut oil
- maple syrup
- agave syrup
- puffed rice
- sunflower seeds
- chopped pecans
- peanut butter
- chocolate chips
- white chocolate chips
- dark chocolate chips
- dried fruit
- Olive oil