Oat groats are hulled whole oats, similar to wheat or rye berries. (The word "groat" is an old Scottish word that describes an oat kernel with the hull removed.) As with all whole grains, oat groats include the cereal germ and fiber-rich bran portion of the grain as well as the starchy endosperm. Whole oat groats are rich in iron, zinc, selenium, vitamin and avenanthramote.
Oat groats may be soaked overnight in cool water before cooking, but they can also be cooked directly after rinsing. Either way, expect them to be pleasantly chewy with a sweet, nutty flavor. Enjoy them as you would any whole grain--plain, in pilafs and in grain-based salads. They also make a nutritious hot breakfast cereal. Other common forms of oats include rolled (old-fashioned or quick-cooking) and steel-cut (groats that have been cut to speed cooking but not rolled).
Makes about 2 1/2 cups
Combine groats and 3 cups cool water in heavy saucepan. Add a pinch of salt (optional). Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to a gentle simmer. Cook until groats are tender, 1 to 1 1/4 hours. Drain off any excess liquid if needed.