A balanced diet is all about proportions – protein, carbohydrates, fats and greens. In this piece about healthy foods, we talk of groats – full of fibre, iron and if it is the right groat, good carbs too!
What are groats?
Groats are the raw forms of cereal grains like barley, oats, rye and wheat. They are whole grains that contain the bran, cereal germ and endosperm. The bran is the part that provides fibre, cereal germ is the reproductive part while the endosperm contains starch (and in some cases, also oil and protein). Since the grain does not undergo much processing, groat contains high nutrition. The explanation may make groats sound like an exotic or a fad food of modern day, but in North India, we know of wheat groats as Dalia! Yes, they are that common.
What is the difference between oats and groats?
Groat is essentially a Scottish word used to describe an entire grain kernel after it is husked. These groats form the basis of every other form of oats produced. For example, the steel-cut oats are groat oats that are cut into two or three pieces and rolled oats are steamed and flattened forms of whole oat groats. If you are going for a minimal-processed breakfast, whole groats are your best option.
Are they good for you?
An excellent source of protein and iron, oat groats are certainly a good addition to your breakfast menu. But why limit yourself to oats when you can include whole wheat grains, whole barley and rye to make your diet iron-rich? Over 50% of Indian women suffer from anaemia and if small changes in your diet like having groats can make a difference, then why not!
Do you have to soak before eating them?
Since groats come with the entire kernel, they are hard to chew. You need to soak them overnight so your morning muesli is nice and mushy. Alternately, you can pressure cook them if you are in a hurry. Either way, they form a super healthy breakfast.
And that’s not all.
Much like any other oats, you can use groats to make porridge or pulao too! Make sure you soak them overnight and you are ready to prepare a nutritious meal in a jiffy the next day.
(Edited by Saiqua Sultan)