I bought some oat groats because they looked really interesting. Oat groats are hulled oat kernels that look like streamlined wheat berries, which apparently could also be called “wheat groats.” Oats have a huge amount of fiber, which is a really good thing, but I’ve always found oatmeal in any form to be boring unless a lot of extra stuff goes in.
Various online recipes recommend cooking I cooked 1 cup of dry oat groats with 3 cups of water for 50-60 minutes. I used a rice cooker on the “brown rice” setting because I know it goes 50-something minutes. This rice cooker is one of the most useful things I’ve ever bought. The cooked groats retained far less water than rice would and I’d say that no more than 1.5 cups resulted. [The photo is not meant to show relative amounts of what went in and came out.]
If oatmeal tastes good with butter and brown sugar, what about groats?
The answer: the groats themselves taste like oatmeal — meaning like not much. They’re a vehicle for the butter and brown sugar. Nothing wrong with that. The advantage of the groats is that they’re definitely chewy and I like that. Oatmeal just lies there, while the groats fight back. In this respect I prefer the groats to oatmeal.
I’ve tried wheat berries before and they’re very chewy to the point of being too much work; oat groats are a bit more tender.
A Groaty Stir Fry
I had some Trader Joe’s Super Firm Tofu on hand, along with mini sweet peppers, and decided to stir-fry them in sesame oil with garlic powder, salt, and pepper. I considered tossing in leftover chayote squash from last week’s assignment, but found I hadn’t yet recovered from the trauma. I often stir-fry super-firm tofu with various accompaniments and toss brown rice into the pan toward the end of the process. I’m a fan of brown rice and can definitely taste it in a stir-fry like this.
I liked the result. The oat groats, as with breakfast, don’t impart any noticeable flavor, but their chewiness makes the meal interesting. This is not gourmet fare, but it doesn’t take long and it’s pretty healthy.
Pinto Beans & Onions on Groats
Being low on time I once again used what I had on-hand. This time I sauteed some chopped vidalia onions in olive oil in a 2-quart pot and added some of the sweet red and orange sweet peppers until they looked soft. Then about 1.5 cups of cooked pinto beans, about 1/2 cup of water, and a half package of Mrs. Dash Salt-free Taco Seasoning. I let these all simmer for about 20 minutes until I liked the consistency, and called it “chili.”
This time I left the oat groats on their own — about a cup — and treated them like brown rice, adding the chili on top.
Possibly a little more oat ‘flavor’ came through with the groats not actually mixed in and, once again, I liked the chewiness.
So in the end I didn’t get fancy, using the groats in place of brown rice in things I often eat and in place of oatmeal at breakfast.
The drawback of flavor blandness is easily compensated by adding additional flavors from The Triangle, and I definitely like the texture. Chewy, but not too chewy.