Hulled crushed grain, such as barley, buckwheat or oats. The most widely used are buckwheat groats (also known as kasha), which are usually cooked in a manner similar to rice. Though groats are generally thought to be more coarsely ground than grits, they come in a variety of grinds including coarse, medium and fine. The two namesgrits and groatsare often used synonymously. Groats are widely used in cereals, as a side dish with vegetables or as a thickener and enricher for soup.
From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.