Overnight Buckwheat Groats — a crunchy, delicious option to oats

By Ann Fulton

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If you happen to be a fan of the ever-versatile, no-cook overnight oatmeal, you must try this novel twist.  (And if you haven’t ventured into the easy breakfast world of overnight oats, I have several recipes for you!)

For those who enjoy steel cut oats, buckwheat groats are quite similar in taste. In raw form, they conveniently offer crunch without being too hard.  And though similar to steel cut oats, buckwheat groats aren’t actually oats.  Despite the name, they aren’t in the wheat family either. For a complete introduction to this wholesome seed, click here.

I’ve been starting my day with these make-ahead breakfast cups for a couple of years now, tweaking the ingredients along the way.  Though the recipe is flexible, I particularly enjoy the combination offered below.  My other overnight oatmeal recipes are crisp and fruity, trumpeting sweet berries and juicy peaches.  Here, seasonal pumpkin and a hint of cinnamon add a certain warmth and earthiness, making this no-cook meal super satisfying even as the mercury plunges.

One serving keeps hunger at bay and is literally bursting with flavor and texture, not to mention fiber, protein, minerals, anti-oxidants, and heart-healthy omega-3’s.  You may mix several of these cups in advance and store, covered, in the fridge for up to three days.

Overnight Buckwheat Groats
Mix a jarful up at night for a filling and healthy breakfast at-the-ready, The groats absorb the liquid yet maintain their slightly crunchy texture, making this a perfect option for those who find oats a little too mushy. Although the word "wheat" is in the name, buckwheat is naturally gluten-free. For those who associate buckwheat flour with bitterness, the whole groats are extremely mild tasting and lack any bitter quality.

Yields 1 serving.
  • 1/4 cup (45 grams) raw buckwheat groats (Bob’s Red Mill is a great option; usually found in the organic or gluten-free aisle–not Kasha)
  • 2 tablespoons (20 grams) chia seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 pinch (about 1/16 teaspoon) of sea or kosher salt
  • 1 small banana (about 1/3 cup or 80 grams; really ripe will be sweeter and easier to mash)
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin puree (80 grams)
  • 2 teaspoons (10 milliliters) pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (120 milliliters) milk of choice (I typically use unsweetened almond milk; see notes)
  • Optional toppings: raisins; shredded coconut; nuts, seeds, and/or another teaspoon of buckwheat groats for extra crunch; an extra drizzle of maple syrup if more sweetness is preferred
  1. In a glass or jar (a 16-ounce capacity allows room to stir) mix the groats, chia seeds, cinnamon, and salt. You can really just mix everything together at once, but I think it is easier to mix all the dry ingredients and proceed accordingly. (Most of the packaged groats I have purchased do not require rinsing. When I have bought them in bulk, I have noticed there can be a chalky coating. If you rub the groats and notice this, the taste will be improved by a quick rinse. In this case, drain thoroughly.)
  2. Roughly chop the banana into the glass. With a fork, thoroughly mash it against the side of the glass, and stir it into the dry ingredients. Add the pumpkin, maple syrup, and vanilla, and stir to combine. Stir in the milk, and then cover and refrigerate overnight.
  3. Stir well before eating to evenly distribute the groats. Sprinkle with desired toppings–my latest favorite is a tablespoon each of raisins and toasted, slivered almonds–and enjoy.
  • A half cup of milk creates a pudding-like consistency that I really enjoy. After making the first time, feel free to adjust the consistency to preference by adding a little more or less milk.
  • I have made these breakfast cups with all banana but find the pumpkin nicely balances the overall texture and flavor–while adding excellent nutrients.
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For a primer on buckwheat groats and other ways to enjoy them, click here.


Above, my original Overnight No-Cook Oatmeal Yogurt Cups


And a fun, fruity granola version…this one is easily made dairy-free

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  1. Laura

    Could you make several at a time and keep them refrigerated for 2/3 days? Or how many days do you think. Thanks, just trying to save time

    1. Ann Post author

      Yes, Laura! I also appreciate the convenience of making a batch to enjoy over time and have kept the prepared buckwheat in the refrigerator for at least three days, maybe four.

  2. PR Heggestad

    Good way to use buckwheat groats. I found I preferred the groats soft and did an extra water soak before putting together the recipe to soften the husks and decrease digestion issues. I was surprised that I liked the banana and pumpkin puree together cold, but now that summer is coming its refreshing!

  3. Maren

    I came across this recipe just now as I’m looking for a break from my usual overnight steel cut.

    I wonder why “not kasha”? Will they not swell as well? I tend to prefer the roasted taste and had already bought kasha before I found this recipe.
    If I choose to use a little less chia (1 tbs) should I reduce the amount of milk? I also opted out of the puree.
    And lastly, I put it in the fridge at 7 pm and I plan to have breakfast around 7 am tomorrow. Are 12 hours “hibernation” enough to make the bucks edible or do you recommend a longer time period?
    (Oh and: Can you heat it up both both post- and pre-swelling?)

    Can’t wait to taste!

    Thanks from Norway 🙂

    1. Ann Post author

      Hello to you in Norway, Maren! I’m glad you found this recipe and hope it offers a welcome reprieve from your usual bowl of oatmeal. Twelve hours in the fridge will be plenty, and though I eat this cold, you could absolutely warm it. As for the kasha mention, it’s been years since I’ve tried with it, so it would absolutely be worth revisiting. My initial aim was for a mild taste that wouldn’t be too far from oats. The absorption of kasha should be similar, and the toasty flavor may, as you say, be preferred by some people. I’d love to hear what you think of your first batch and if you decide to try with kasha!

    1. Ann Post author

      Hi Kay, You can experiment with any fruit puree like applesauce, apple butter, mashed sweet potato — even use double the pumpkin. The banana adds a nice natural sweetness, so you may want to add more maple syrup to taste.

      1. PatC

        I’d like to toast the groats before I make this. What do you think? Does that change the recipe?
        I’m also going to make mine with the rest of the Kabocha Squash I baked the other day.
        I love your information.

        1. Ann Post author

          Toasting the groats would enhance their nutty quality, so it would be delightful when wanting to make the flavor a touch bolder. I love the idea of using Kabocha squash, too. It’s one of my favorites!

  4. Celine

    First time I tried buckwheat groats. I must say that I loved it and it will often be part of my Breakfast now. I did not have any pumpkin puree but it tasted great with the banana anyway.
    Thanks for this delicious recipe!

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  7. Val

    I made this last night for this morning’s breakfast and LOVE LOVE LOVE it. The crunch is like a soft crunch, and I mean that in a very good way. Totally making more tonight. Thanks for the new idea!