Raw Oat Groat Cereal

Remember when I wrote about my experience making raw buckwheat groats for breakfast? You can read about it here. I like this cereal a lot, but I found something I like even better: raw oat groats! I find the flavor to be much milder and, well, very oat-like.

What are oat groats? They are the whole oat kernel that includes the bran layer which makes them even healthier than rolled oats or steel-cut oats (although these are great options, too). Here’s a photo of the oat groats on the left and the buckwheat groats on the right.Again, you’ll need to look for hulled oat groats at a natural food store or you can order them online at a reputable seller like Bob’s Red Mill. The serving size is about 1/2 cup groats per person.

Raw oat groats do need to be soaked before eating to soften them. I think overnight is adequate. I rinse mine before soaking so as to clean off any dust or whatever:

I then put the rinsed groats in a big bowl and cover them with water:

The next morning, I just rinse them again and eat! You can try processing them with a banana to make a really rich, sweet cereal (I served this one with a chopped peach):

Or, you can just eat the groats whole with some berries for sweetness (I added almond butter as well):

I am in love with the chewy texture of the oat groats, they are so satisfying. I vaguely remember eating a boxed, sweetened cereal with oat groats as a kid but I can’t remember what it was called. Does anyone know what I’m talking about?

On an unrelated note, I think I might be allergic to strawberries! I developed hives a few days ago after eating a pint of strawberries from the farmers’ market. I am sooooo sad if this is the case but I’m experimenting now to see if that is the culprit. If so, I’ll have to reviseย my green smoothie recipeย and learn to live without one of my favorite fruits.

What do you eat for breakfast and are you open to trying new breakfast recipes?


  1. Nadine says

    Cool – I’ve passed oat groats a lot in the bulk bins and I think – those must be tasty, but have been too unsure to try them. I find raw and soaked buckwheat unappetizing, but your idea of processing the groats with a banana sounds divine – thanks for the idea!
    I thought I was allergic to strawberries too, but then I found out the ones I had eaten (from a farmer’s market too) had been sprayed. Anytime I have “conventional” strawberries I have an allergic reaction, but with ones I know haven’t been sprayed, I am totally fine! Many farmers even the ones at farmer’s markets use chemical pesticides and herbicides that can cause reactions, so it may be wise to ask.

    • says

      Hi Nadine, let me know if you try the cereal and if you like it. I also appreciate your thoughts on why I might have had an allergic reaction to the strawberries. In this case, I know the farmer where I bought them and he is 100% organic so that’s not what is happening. I’m still not sure if it is the strawberries though because I haven’t eaten them for almost 24 hours and I still have the hives. It might be back to the drawing board to figure out what is going on. Thanks for the comment, though.

      • Nadine says

        Thought I would tell you that I loved the cereal!
        Hope you are feeling better and figured out what caused them.

        • says

          Oh yay, I’m so glad you liked the cereal! I still don’t know what caused my hives, but they are getting better, thanks for asking. I’m going to wait another week or two and then try having a strawberry and see what happens.

  2. says

    I’ve neve had oat groats, but I’m intrigued. I’ve seen them, but haven’t tried them for some reason!

    That’s pretty sad if you’re allergic to strawberries!

    I often eat the same thing for breakfast for months on end…and then I switch to something else. I’m open to new ideas, but I’m also kind of likely to just be in a rut!

  3. says

    wow, this sounds interesting. I’ve been experimenting with oat and other grains for breakfast, and I never considered raw oat groats! I thought you had to cook them for hours. I don’t like processing them in the food processor. But I see you at them just as is too. Is it really good? Notice my skepticism. ๐Ÿ™‚ Okay, I will give it a try! though I might soak some steel cut oats for backup. ๐Ÿ™‚


    • says

      Hi Barb, thanks for the comment! Yes, I DO like the oat groats, they are so easy to prepare and have a wonderful texture. I like them a lot better than buckwheat groats and the flavor is very mild and pleasant. Let me know if/when you make them and if you like them as much as I do!

    • Danielle says

      I was wondering if you knew steel cut oats are oat groats cut up? So if you are a little un sure just pulse them in the food processor first :).

  4. says

    I have a friend who told me about groats. She has them for breakfast every morning & loves them. Do you have any information on the calorie, carb content? My friend has them with currents. I tried a bit & really liked them so I’m going to buy some. thanks!

  5. Marrilee says

    Yum! I love them so much hot and am delighted to find out how yummy they are without the heat. Thanks for posting!

  6. Obapplepie says

    We bought a 50lb bag of groats. And I have to say I love how versatile they are! We are trying to convert back to a raw diet and don’t have a ton of money, so having access to an inexpensive and healthy food source is encouraging. We can make oat milk, sprout them, soak them and am looking forward to making raw crackers and cookies. Its also great caring for my in laws, I can feed them groats with almond milk for breakfast, or mix it with soups for dinner. And possibly tmi for some, it really made a huge difference in my mother in laws poop, she had diarrhea almost every diaper before simplifying her diet and giving her groats… and she loves ’em!

  7. says

    I was at my local Whole Foods today, where I’ve purchased oat groats in the past, and didn’t see them. An employee helped me, but he couldn’t find them in bulk foods or in the spot where Bob’s Red Mill products were shelved. Isn’t that weird? I may have to buy them online if one other small store in our area doesn’t have them. (I found your page by googling ‘oat groats’!)

    Meanwhile, the sugary cereal you remember as a kid that was made from oat groats was probably Sugar Puffs.

    And the strawberries? I’m allergic to mold, and sometime fruit can get a bit moldy — I had to cut back on the fruit! Or some people develop a sensitivity to one fruit from eating it too much. That happened to a friend who ate too much melon.

  8. says

    been eating rolled oats raw for decades… first tried them with corn flakes like the locals in Europe.. have loved them raw ever since.

    never thought of the whole groats raw … will give that a shot!! thanks!!

    p.s. somehow i think Sugar Puffs were rice … not oats…???

    • says

      Thanks for doing the research, Sue! ๐Ÿ™‚ Gosh, now I can’t remember which cereal I used to eat that the groats reminded me of, but Sugar Smacks was for sure one of them.

  9. Mark Foley says

    This is an inspiration, I think I will graduate from my current organic rolled oats and organic everything-else cereal (along with raw jersey/goat’s milk and bee pollen sprinkled in too!), to RAW unprocessed oat groats!….I think I’m looking FORWARD to the chewy texture that you described!

    Thanks a tonne Carrie I am glad I found this encouraging post from googling around :).

  10. says

    I’ve no idea how I haven’t found your blog before. All your recipes are exactly my kind of food! I soaked my oat groats overnight and just ate them up whole this morning with sliced banana, unhulled tahini and a little coconut (carton) milk. Fabulous breakfast ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for the inspiration.

  11. Brianna says

    just discovered your website (don’t know how I missed it before!) and I am SO excited! I’ve been eating groats for breakfast for the past few months. I use a recipe I got from Kimberly Snyder’s book.

    1/2 cup soaked groats
    1/2 an avocado
    stevia to taste
    blend and enjoy!

    I know, it sounds SO weird but I swear it is one of the most delicious meals I have ever eaten. I usually soak the groats during the day and prep at night. grab from the fridge and go! yum!

  12. Marjorie says

    Thanks for this recipe.
    I have to order my groats (and other items that are not produce) online. Nutsonline.com has a great raw food section, great service, reasonable prices ($2.99/lb for the groats). They sometimes throw a surprise “freebie” sample in my delivery.

  13. Rebecca Olesen says

    You know know that ‘raw’ oat groats refers to groats that have never been steamed before packaging, not just being ‘whole’ as opposed to steel cut or rolled. The bran doesn’t fall off the steel cut oats, and some forms of slow rolled oats retains the brain and is thus just as healthy.

    Oats are always steamed prior to packaging to break down the starches in the grain, which stops them from going rancid and also makes them ‘digestible’.

    Be careful referring to whole groats as ‘raw’, because the term in this situation refers to unsteamed groats, which are basically indigestible unless soaked for 8 to 12 hours, then rinsed, then soaked for another 8 to 12 hours OR soaked and then cooked. Without any application of heat, the length of time required to soak ‘raw’ oats is quite a long time.

    Since ‘raw’ oats can also be steel cut or ‘unsteamed cold rolled oats’, truly raw oats have to all be heated or soaked for long periods of time before eating them, otherwise it will not be pleasant. Imagine something that feels like broken glass moving through your colon. Also, you won’t get ANY nutrition at all from the oats if they haven’t been properly soaked and/or soaked and heated.

    It’s not just to make them softer !!

    • says

      Hi Rebecca! Wow, thank you so much for sharing this information. Someone from the raw foods world told me about soaking the whole oat groats and eating them uncooked, but, honestly, I got a stomachache the last time I did this. So, I’m sure you are correct about the groats needing a longer soak or some kind of heat to soften them. Thanks for your input!

  14. Carol says

    I have been putting a couple of spoons of raw oat groats in my breakfast smoothy. I haven’t pre-soaked them or cooked them. Are they harmful uncooked? I was hoping that eating them in the raw form was good for me. But am I wrong?

    • says

      Hi Carol. I’m not really sure about your question. I have always heard that it’s important to soak and rinse raw buckwheat groats before using them. You don’t necessarily need to dry them after that process, but they get nice and crunchy that way.

  15. Doug Morrison says

    Raw but overnight soaked oat groats? This will be a new one for me. I really enjoy the flavor and the chewy texture of oat groats, but I have only had them cooked. However, cooking them not only takes time but can also be messy. But simply soaking them overnight and then maybe warming them up in the morning seems like a great idea!


  16. Doug Morrison says

    Update (a few weeks later …):

    Soaking oat groats overnight works really well, although soaking a few hours longer works even better, and here is a simple but tasty recipe. I like a big breakfast so I start with 2/3 cup of dry oat groats in a pot, then add 2 cups of water (a ratio of 1 cup of oats to 3 cups of water works well, the same ratio as for brown rice), then cover and let soak for 12 hours or at least for overnight. In the morning I get out a cutting board and a hand held kitchen tool which can quickly core and section an apple into 8 slices (an inexpensive tool available in many stores), then use the tool on at least one apple, although I prefer two apples (a great way to get my daily fruit), then use a paring knife to slice the apple into even smaller pieces, but not too small, and then add the apple slices to the pot of soaked oats. Then, with the lid off of the pot, put the pot on a stove and bring the oats, water and apple(s) to a simmer, just barely bubbling, for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Yep, that is it, all done! But now other ingredients could be added, too, such as honey, butter, a sprinkle of nutmeg or cinnamon, etc., just use your imagination.

    Let me add that the soaking method has two great advantages; 1) it cuts cooking time way down, to about 1/3 of the time otherwise required, and 2) the low simmering temperature will not cause the mixture to bubble up and make a mess all over the stove. Altogether, and with my thanks to this website, I now have a great new way to cook whole oat groats for breakfast, thank you!

  17. Doug Morrison says


    Cooking oats is more complicated and time consuming than other methods described here on this thread, but I look forward to a hot breakfast much in the same way as looking forward to hot coffee or tea, and am now delighted to discover that soaking oat groats vastly reduces the cooking time required. To that end I have experimented with soaking time (yes, we engineers are inclined to experiment), and have developed what I call the 23-hour soaking method. Simply, following breakfast give the pot a quick wash out, then refill the pot with oats and water, cover the pot and let it sit until it is time to make breakfast again. I also tried a two-day soak, which did not develop any noticeable damage or spoilage to the oats, but did not significantly further soften the oats, and so I reverted to the 23-hour method which works quite well.

    After adding chunks of apple I put the mixture on a medium heat, and once it begins to bubble I reduce the heat to just enough heat to keep it bubbling for about the next five minutes. That five minutes of gentle bubbling fully heats the oats and does not overcook the apple(s).

    My thanks to this thread, this has been a GREAT discovery!

  18. Vivien says

    I thought I’ll share my favorite way of eating oat Friday, since I really like all the other suggestions in the comments. I’m Chinese, and we eat a lot of rice everyday. So what I do is that I use oat groats in place of rice, and I cook them in the rice cooker. I use about 4 parts water to 1 part oat groat. It’s chewy, fragrant, and filling. It goes great with some stir fried veggies ๐Ÿ™‚

    If you don’t have a rice cooker, you can boil them in a pot for about 30 minutes on medium heat. It’s more difficult though… a rice cooker is definitely much easier. You can also use the rice cooker to make oat porridge, just add more water…

  19. robert says

    I like the idea of staining the oats first.

    any idea how to revive oats after they have been stored or unused for half year or so? – think straining will do? [bug residue]

    I sometimes soak oat groats for 2 hours or more then use a blender – creamy – mix with anything of course.


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