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 names grits and groats are often used synonymously. Groats are widely used in cereals, as a side dish with vegetables or as a thickener and enricher for soup.