Wednesday, June 15, 2011

How-To: Cooking Oat Groats

 I am an oat fiend. I love them, but you probably already knew that. (and here)

Thing is, I don't like the standard run of the mill rolled oats anymore. I guess you could call me an oat snob. I don't mind. I promise.

I love oat groats. love, love, love them!

What are oat groats, you ask? They are the least processed version of oats that you can buy. And as you might imagine, this is the simple fact that causes them to have a significantly longer cook time. Significantly longer.

That's okay because I have solved the problem. It requires a slight initial investment, however. You will need the following:
  • Oat groats 
  • Small storage containers - I prefer the sturdier Rubbermaid ones but you could always go with the cheaper plastic Ziploc ones.
  • Slow Cooker - The size depends on how many servings of oats you want to cook at one time. I prefer a 1.5 quart slow cooker.
  • Kitchen Scale - You don't really need this but I think every kitchen should have one. The link is my preferred scale.
Step #1
About 15 minutes before you go to bed, measure the required amount of oats into the cooking vessel of your slow cooker.
168g = 4 servings

Step #2
Add preferred amount of water to vessel. I generally use a ratio of one serving of oat groats to roughly 8.75 fl. oz. of water.

Step #3
Cover with lid, set to low. Go to sleep.

Six to eight hours later....

Step #4
Awaken to the smell of freshly cooked oats. Marvel at how your oats have expanded.

Step #5
Serve immediately, or portion into small plastic containers and refrigerate for later use. We'll get to how to reheat them next.

If you're curious and are using the food scale, this method typically results in roughly 250g to a container.

Step #6
Top as you see fit and eat.

If you're stumped on what kind of toppings to put on, here are a few suggestions:
  • Peanut butter and bananas
  • Cherries and almonds
  • Strawberries and hazelnuts
  • Eggs and sausage
The list could go on and on. Oatmeal with no added sugars and cooked fresh is an excellent base for a multitude of combinations.

Some morning in the future...
You're late. You're in a rush. You don't think you have time to eat a healthy, hearty breakfast.

Remember those oats you stocked away into your fridge for another day?

These things, right here:

Grab one of those, and transfer the oats into a microwavable bowl. You may have to use a spoon to get the oats to release from the bowl. Disregard how strange a shape it's in now:

Add two tablespoons of water:

Reheat in the microwave for 2-3 minutes, then give it a quick stir:
Ready for toppings!

And the neatest part about microwaving them? They won't boil over like instant and rolled oats do!