Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Oat groats for breakfast

I love oatmeal. When I was a kid my mother sometimes would fix Quick Quaker Oats for breakfast and I never complained. Warm oatmeal with a little milk and sugar and a piece of buttered toast is probably my favorite morning meal.

My grandmother usually prepared Old Fashioned Quaker Oats and I liked her breakfasts better but never gave much thought to why. When I first tasted porridge made with steel-cut oats I understood why I preferred my grandmother's oatmeal to the quick-cooking kind. I like oats! The old fashioned rolled oats are more like the real thing than the chopped up quick-cooking oatmeal. And don't even try to compare instant (ugh) to any of the other choices.

So now I begin preparing our morning cereal the night before. I soak a cup of oat groats (hulled whole oats) in water overnight and finish cooking them in the morning. They're very flavorful and a little chewy. They don't have to be soaked ahead of time but it cuts down on the morning cooking time which means we can eat breakfast sooner. Usually a good thing around here.

Oat Groats
Yield: 4 servings

1 cup oat groats
3-1/2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt

Rinse and drain groats if you wish. (I do if they seem dusty or appear to have chaff mixed in.)

Bring water to boil in heavy medium pan. Add salt and oat groats. Stir to combine. Boil for 5 minutes or cover and turn off heat immediately. Your choice. The 5-minutes of boiling will further reduce cooking time in the morning but isn't required. Set covered pan to side and leave out to soak overnight.

The next morning, return pan to heat and simmer till the water is absorbed and oats are tender. 15-20 minutes is about right but the process can take up to 45 minutes if the oats weren't soaked overnight.

Any leftover oats can be reheated for breakfast another day. (Store cooked oats in fridge.) Or add them to bread dough. I can incorporate 1/2 cup cooked grain in the basic doughs without fiddling with the other ingredient amounts. More than that and I may have to adjust liquid or flour amounts. YMMV

If you like hot rice as a breakfast cereal as DS and I do, add 1/4 cup brown rice with the groats and increase water by 1/2 cup. It doesn't alter the flavor much but will add contrast to what may appear to be a bowl of plain brown grain. At least till you taste it and then the full oat-y flavor will burst forth. Yum.

For more recipes and kitchen ideas check out Kitchen Tip Tuesdays at TammysRecipes.com.


Sandra said...

I just ordered some oat groats through my co-op for the first time. I'm so glad you posted this as I have never cooked them, nor do I know anyone who has. I am keeping this to use!!

Mrs. Mordecai said...

Thanks for this! I have always wanted to try them but assumed they would take too long to cook. Good to know about the soaking.

Carolyn said...

Enjoy the groats, ladies! It's so nice when something I really like turns out to be so good for me, too.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the recipe. I've seen a huge variance in the amount of water suggested for each cup of oats -- from one cup to six! Your oat-water ratio looks the most likely to succeed. :)

Amanda (Panda) said...

Thanks so much for posting this recipe! Soaking overnight really makes it so much easier in the morning and I would have never thought of it! I love the variation with the brown rice, too!! I've got a pot boiling on the stove right now!

Carolyn said...

The nights are getting cool again so we've been having oats for breakfast several times a week. Any leftovers can be re-heated for another day or I like to add them into bread dough if it's 1/2 cup or so.

Anonymous said...

I just got oat groats for the 1st time and tried this recipe last night/this morning... It's awesome! Yummy and minimal effort on my part. Even the baby liked it! Thank you :D

Carolyn at Walnut Spinney said...

Thanks for letting me know it's a hit at your house!

We've developed a (good) problem here as DH and DS both like some type of dried fruit (mainly raisins, apples, nectarines, or pears) in their oats and I just want mine plain or with a little rice. So I've been re-hydrating a little fruit in a small pan in the morning while I cook the oats. Then they can stir the fruit into their oats and I can have mine plain.

Am I the only one who prefers oats or oatmeal without other flavoring?

underacomfort said...

Groats are delicious and do you a world of good unless you pile on the delicious cream and preserves, or to some, sugar or brown sugar.

I could eat them plain and do. But the best thing for you is to top with almost a cup of frozen wild blueberries, some chopped nuts -- any kind but they should be raw, sunflower seeds.

It' my favorite meal and I can eat it every day. I could eat it more than once a day, but have tried not to do that except in emergencies.

Wendy said...

I recently read that all grains should be soaked overnight due to phytic acid.The soaking should include something acidic to break this down like lemon juice or apple cider vinegar. Can anyone tell me what you know about this?