Whole Grain Oats There is something so satisfying about cooking a whole grain from scratch. Whole oat groats take an incredibly long time to cook and require planning ahead. Unlike rolled oats – to which you can just add water and microwave for a couple of minutes – whole oat groats feel like a significant undertaking. So I don’t do this very often.  But I love the results. A warm and comforting dish. Kinda perfect when the temps insist and still being below zero.

Wait until you’re feeling ambitious or have some extra time on your hands to give these a try. Your first challenge may be to find them. Try here. Don’t confuse these with steal cut oats or Irish oatmeal. This is the whole oat groat. Roasted and hulled. But not rolled or cut. And look like a longer and thiner version of whole gain wheat berries.

Whole Grain Oats

Personally, I like the texture and flavour of whole oats. Slightly sweet nice and firm and chewy. I think they are worth the time investment.

And like just about any whole grain, the leftovers will keep for a few days refrigerated. So don’t feel like you need 2 hours each morning to make breakfast. I cup dried oats will make 4 servings. Make a batch and save some for later. For leftovers, I add a little bit of water and throw them in the microwave to warm up. The extra water will help soften them up again. Place them in the microwave on high for about 2 minutes – stir after each 30 secs or so – or until they are warm to to your liking. Or – you can do the same in a small pot on the stove top.

The oats will cook more quickly if you soak them before cooking. Soak at least 1 hour. However, I find overnight works too and this can cut their cooking time considerably. Regardless, after soaking plan 50minutes to 1 hour and 20 minutes cooking time. Seriously.

Just like lentils or other dried bean, whole grains can be dirty and full of twigs and pebbles. It always amazes me how the most perfectly round pebbles find their way into the whole grain bag. Whole Grain Oats

You have to get rid of that before you cook these things. So before you soak them, make sure you have spread them out on a clean work surface and inspected for debris. I always rinse them to remove any dust that  might be clinging to the grains. Then place in a small bowl with enough water to cover be an inch or two.

Once you are ready to cook the grains, drain the soaking liquid then transfer them to a pot to cook on the stove top.  1 cup of dry oat whole oat groats will need 2 + 1/2 cups of water plus a pinch of salt to cook. I generally add my toppings after cooking – brown sugar or maple syrup, cinnamon, walnuts and grated apple.

Cinnamon Apple Whole Oats

Cook Time1 hr
Servings: 4 servings


  • 1 cup whole oats
  • 2-1/2 cups water
  • pinch of sea salt


  • maple syrup
  • brown sugar
  • cinnamon
  • toasted pecans almonds or walnuts
  • grated apple


  • Spread groats on a cutting board and inspect for pebbles and twigs.
  • Place groats in a small bowl and cover with water. Allow to soak at least 1 hour. Overnight in the fridge is fine as well.
  • Drain and rinse oats through a fine mesh sieve the transfer to a pot with 2-1/2 cups of water and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium low and simmer until water is absorbed and groats are tender. 50 minutes to over an hour.
  • Pot could boil over, keeping the lid ajar can help reduce foam.
  • Remove from pot, fluff and stir in toppings of your choice. Serve


Plan ahead and soak the whole grains before cooking to help reduce the cooking time.