Groats are the least-processed version of oats with only the husk removed. When cooked properly, the groats take on a nutty flavor with a chewy texture. Groats take longer to cook fully than rolled oats or other grains that are more processed. Whole grains are worth the extra cooking time because of the benefits they provide the body, including a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes along with improved digestive health. Cooked groats work well as a hot breakfast cereal or in place of other grains, rice and pasta.
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Pour the oat groats and water into a large saucepan. Cover the pan with a lid. Let the groats soak for at least 1 hour. You can leave the groats to soak overnight if desired.
Turn the burner on to medium-high heat when you are ready to cook the groats. Bring the groat mixture to a boil.
Reduce the heat under the groats to the low setting. Leave the lid on the pan and cook the groats for about 45 minutes. Check the groats periodically during cooking to make sure they don't run out of water before they are cooked through. Add an extra 1/4 cup of water at a time if the water cooks out but the groats aren't finished cooking.
Taste a bite of the groats to see if they are done. They should be chewy but not crunchy.
Stir in a pinch of salt for savory groats, or cinnamon, raisins and nuts for sweeter groats. Add a sweetener such as honey, brown sugar or agave nectar if desired. Stir in a splash of milk for added creaminess.