A Day In The Kitchen of Hildegard of Bingen
St. Hildegard's 16 most important divine remedies
Dr.Wighard Strehlow Ph.D. -- See also www.virita.de --- We would like to find someone to distributes the products worldwide
St. Hildegard's diet of spelt, vegetables, spices and fruits provides an optimal digestion and can prevent and often cure the so called „uncurable diseases" of today. Hildegard chose the remedies in nature for their healing value (principle of subtility) so that there would be no difference between remedies and foods. Everything that is good for the body is also a remedy. As in progressive holist medicine, the organism as a whole is nourished and strengthened. When one is sufffering from an illness of the liver, not just the liver but the entire body must be cured. The art of cooking and the art of healing are one and the same in Hildegard's medicine. St. Hildegard put it very simply: „ Your food shall be your remedy."
The word diet comes form the Greek word „diaita" which means course of life. Nutrition is only one part of the 6 age old golden rules of life (res non naturales).
New life energy pours out of:
- The healing forces from the four elements: fire, air, water and earth.
- The curative value found in good food and drink.
- The power of life itself through exercise and rest.
- The restoration of health through sleeping and waking.
- Regeneration through elimination and secretion.
- The healing force found in the Christian virtues.
The Wonder Food Spelt
Healthier, stronger and more beautiful with spelt „Spelt is the very best grain ..."
The first clinical evidence that a diet is related to health, strength, intelligence and vitality is found in the first chapter of Daniel in the Old Testament. 2500 years ago King Nebacadnezer chose ten handsome, intelligent Jewish boys free from physical defects and of royal descent to serve his court. They were to be trained and nourished three years with the king's own diet, meat and wine. Not wishing to defile themselves, Daniel and three other boys refused the king's diet, eating only vegetables and water. After three years the king was more impressed by the health and radiant glow of Daniel and his friends than of the 6 other boys who had received the king's diet. No matter what question they were asked they were 10 times more intelligent than any magician in the whole kingdom. Spelt, a well-known grain in the Old Testament, was certainly a part of their vegetable diet. (Exodus 9:31, 32 Ezekiel 4:9)
Today science has increasing evidence that health is linked to the diet and life style. A report issued by the U.S. surgeon general and the National Academy of Sciene concluded that „diseases of dietary excess and imbalance ... now account for more than two-thirds of all deaths in the United States." (Chicago Tribune, July 16, 1989).
The 10 major degenerative diseases of overconsumption associated with the current diet high in refined and processed foods, rich in fats, salt and sugar are: arteriosclerosis, coronary heart disease (heart attack) and cerebral disease (stroke), hypertension or high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes mellitus (adult onset), cancer of the colon, breast, uterus, prostate, ovary and pancreas, cirrhosis of the liver, Alzheimer's disease, venous thrombosis, kidney disease and Immune deficiency (virus diseases, influenza, colds, AIDS).
The significance of complex carbohydrates and fiber for the diet is also of utmost importance. Many diseases are directly caused by the under-consumption of food low in bulk (fiber) and high in caloric density. The diseases which can be avoided through a fiber-rich diet are constipation (poor digestion), diverticulosis, hiatal hernia, hemorrhoids, hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), irritable-bowel sydrome, gallstones, depression and irritability, food allergies (adverse effects of food additives, pesticides and insecticides, wheat and soybeans) and early aging
The Hildegard diet of spelt, vegetables and fruit provides an optimal digestion and can prevent and often cure the listed diseases. Hildegard chose the remedies in nature for their healing value (principle of subtility) so that there would be no difference between remedies and foods. Everything that is good for the body is also a remedy. As in progressive holist medicine, the organism as a whole is nourished and strengthened. When one is sufffering from an illness of the liver, not just the liver but the entire body must be cured. The art of cooking and the art of healing are one and the same in Hildegard's medicine. Dr. Kollath put it very simply: „ Your food shall be your remedy."
Spelt constitutes a versatile, healthful family diet, since it tastes better than other grains and is suitable for both cooking and baking. Its success to prevent and cure diseases depends on knowing how to use it in the kitchen. An effective way to get spelt in the diet is to begin the day with a hot coarsly-ground spelt cereal or home-made muffins for breakfast, a daily spelt kernel lettuce salad and spelt bread for lunch and spelt rice (cooked kernels) or spelt pasta for dinner.
Hildegard of Bingen characterises spelt as the best of all grains: "... it promotes good circulation, provides healthy fat and is more highly nutritious and milder than any other type of grain. Spelt encourages muscular growth, a good blood count and cheerfulness. In whatever form you eat spelt, whether baked in a bread or coked in a meal, spelt is good and stimulates a good digestion.
All spelt products in their own way provide and sustain gastro-intestinal health. For normal digestion and constipation use whole grain products like whole grain bread, whole grain pasta, spelt kernels, spelt semolina (whole grain) and spelt flakes. If the Tendency, however, is towards diarrhea, it is better to opt for white spelt bread, white pasta, spaetzle, white flour-based soups or products made from spelt flour type 405 or 630.
Spelt - The wonder food
Healthier, stronger and more beautiful with spelt! „Spelt is the very best grain ..."
Like none before or after her, Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179), described the building stones of life itself including the grain spelt. She wrote the first German book on natural medicine entitled Physica in which she pointed out the natural healing powers found in trees, fruits and grains, spices and herbs, animals, birds, fish, precious stones and metals. Hildegard connected these healing powers to the health of the whole person.
The word diet comes form the Greek word „diaita" which means course of life. Our diet is based on our nutrition. Nutrition is only one part of the 6 age-old rules of life (res non naturales). According to Hildegard health and life style are reflected in the following golden rules of life:
The golden rules of life
1. Your food is the first medicine for a healthy life. There is a curative power found in the right food and drink.
2. To preserve and restore your health use the power of natural medicines. The cosmic energy found in the four elements fire, air, water and earth can heal your body and your soul.
3. Make sure you have a natural sleep in balance with enough movement and exercise. Health can be restored through sleeping and waking.
4. Make sure you have an intelligent balance between work and regeneration following the ancient adage: „Ora et labora" (Pray, read and work)
5. Cleanse your body from its poisons by fasting, blood-letting, cupping, moxibustion, baths and sauna. This is called regeneration through elimination and secretion.
6. Transform your psycho-social weaknesses into generous and loving deeds of spiritual joy, vitality and love for your fellow man.
First chapter of Daniel in the Old Testament:
The first clinical evidence that a diet is related to health, strength, intelligence and vitality is found in the first chapter of Daniel in the Old Testament. 2500 years ago King Nebacadnezer chose ten handsome, intelligent Jewish boys free from physical defects and of royal descent to serve his court. They were to be trained and nourished three years with the king's own diet, meat and wine. Not wishing to defile themselves, Daniel and three other boys refused the king's diet, eating only vegetables and water. After three years the king was more impressed by the health and radiant glow of Daniel and his friends than of the 6 other boys who had received the king's diet. No matter what question they were asked they were 10 times more intelligent than any magician in the whole kingdom. Spelt, a well-known grain in the Old Testament, was certainly a part of their vegetable diet. (Exodus 9:31, 32 Ezekiel 4:9) Today science has increasing evidence, that health is linked to the diet and life style. A report issued a year ago by the U.S. surgeon general and the National Academy of Science concluded that „diseases of dietary excess and imbalance ... now account for more than two-thirds of all deaths in the United States." (Chicago Tribune, July 16, 1989).
The 10 major degenerative diseases of OVER-consumption
associated with the current diet high in refined and processed foods, rich in fats, salt and sugar are:
- Atherosclerosis, coronary heart disease (heart attack) and cerebral disease (stroke)
- Diabetes mellitus (adult onset)
- Cancer of the colon, breast, uterus, prostate, ovary and pancreas
- Cirrhosis of the liver
- Alzheimer's disease
- Venous thrombosis
- Kidney disease
- Immune deficiency (virus diseases, influenza, colds, AIDS)
These diseases are related to the UNDER-consumption of foods low in bulk (fiber). The significance of complex carbohydrates and fiber for the diet is obvious!
- Constipation (poor digestion)
- Varicose veins
- Hiatal hernia
- Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)
- Irritable-bowel sydrome
- Depression and irritability
- Food allergies (adverse effects of food additives, pesticides and insecticides, wheat and soybeans)
- Early aging
You can find spelt in all over the world, even in Australia! Ten years ago a Hildegard friend encouraged farmers to the west of Sydney in Kangaroo Valley to grow spelt and met with great success. Another Hildegard friend and farmer himself grows spelt in West Australia close to Albany. The Hildegard diet of spelt, vegetables and fruit provides an optimal digestion and can prevent and often cure diseases. Hildegard chose remedies in nature for their healing value (a principle called subtility), thus there is no difference between remedies and foods. Everything that is good for the body is also a remedy. As in progressive holistic medicine the organism as a whole is nourished and strengthened. When one is suffering from an illness of the liver, not just the liver but the entire body must be cured. The art of cooking and the art of healing are one and the same in Hildegard's medicine.
The simplicity of the Hildegard diet does not require measuring the complicated data of calorie charts, vitamin tables, fat percentages, or fiber content. This simple diet is totally complete in itself. Supplementation through additional vitamin or mineral pills is not only unnecessary, but is not recommended. Hildegard's frugal diet contains fresh vegetables and fruits in season, preferably grown in the immediate area. Instead of an overabundance of various foods from exotic lands and the cultivation of gourmet tastes, Hildegard advocates a plain diet which can nevertheless be delicious and healthful.
The characteristic, important, and fundamental substance of a food is its essential essence, its subtility. For the Hildegard diet, this is the scale which weighs and selects the foods. On the basis of subtility we can select „good" foods from the various food families for our diet. All things 100-percent „good" have health-promoting, health-sustaining, rejuvenating, and vitalizing qualities as a part of their fundamental nature.
Spelt is the most ancient grain – the very best and can be used for cooking and baking.
Oats are only good for healthy persons; they promote beautiful skin and lead to health and happiness.
Wheat is only good as wholewheat or graham flour and is recommended only for baking.
Rye is only good for healthy persons; it is excellent for those who tend to have heavy fat deposits (hard workers) but detrimental for persons with weak stomachs (gastritis).
Barley injures healthy persons and those with anemia and poor circulation, for barley lacks the values which are found in the other grains.
Fennel however eaten, fennel makes us happy, produces beautiful skin, good digestion, and good body odor.
Celery, Chickpeas, Pumpkin and Squash, Red beets, Watercress, Lettuce and other salads only with salad dressing; it strengthens the brain and provides good digestion.
Chestnuts fill an empty brain and strengthen heart, liver, and stomach.
Beans such as green beans, soy beans, kidney beans and all other beans.
Onions always cooked
Broccoli, Carrots, Corn, Parsnips, Sweet potatoes, Zuchinis,
Apples raw are only for healthy persons; cooked or well baked for sick and healthy; old, wrinkled, raw apples also good for sick.
Quince are especially good for rheumatism and arthritis.
Red and black currants, Grapes, Raspberries, Blackberries
Citrus fruits, Cornel cherries, Melons
Dates in moderation.
Meats and Fish
Fish good for healthy and sick; pike, perch, roach, and grayling.
Good only for healthy: salmon, herring, carp, and trout.
Poultry & Chicken are easy to digest; Hildegard recommends its use all year round; prepare without skin.
Turkey: Though Hildegard is silent on turkey, it is easy to digest and is lowest in cholesterol of all meats. Wild goose, wild duck are only for healthy persons.
Ostrich meat is exellent for obese persons.
Lamb in spring and summer is good for healthy and sick; especially good for varicose veins. Hildegard writes: „Whoever is failing in his whole body and whose veins are withered should often sip the juice of lamb and of the soup in which it was cooked. Also he should eat some of the meat and, when he improves, he can eat even more meat if he wants."
Goat in spring and summer is good for healthy and sick. In Hildegard's words: „If goat meat is eaten often, it heals obstructed and malfunctioning weakened intestines and heals and strengthens the stomach.
Venison in fall and winter is good for healthy and sick. Hildegard says: „Whoever eats of this meat frequently is cleansed of slime and filth. Whoever is plagued by precancerosis (vicht) should eat often from its liver and it will devour the vicht in him.
Dressings and Spices
The standard dressing for Hildegard's salad contains one tablespoon pure wine vinegar (or basalmico), three tablespoons sunflower oil cold- pressed, and a bit of brown sugar to neutralize the sour taste. Lemon juice, as well as yogurt, can also be used.
ABC of Hildegard's Spices:
cinnamon – universal spice for the sinuses
cubeb pepper – clears the intellect
cumin – makes cheese more digestible
fennel – „happy making" spice, good for bad breath
galangal – activates entire organism, especially heart
hyssop – chicken spice; excellent for liver colic and melancholy
mother of thyme – good for skin disorders
pellitory – universal spice; aids digestion of all nutrients
Hildegard recommends drinking in moderation during the meal.
Fennel tea is the best tea and is 100 percent good for your health. You can also use lemon balm or rosehips for tea.
Beer is a beverage especially good for the persons underweight. It is a good muscle builder and provides a healthy skin color.
Wine is also good in moderation – almost a remedy for the sick. But do not forget to add a squirt of water in order to „humanize" the wine. The quenched wine is especially helpful to keep you happy, if you are sad. (A glass of good biological wine is cooked until it begins to boil and then quenched with a small amount of cold water. Drink the warm wine slowly and your sadness will disappear.)
Spelt coffee, a roasted-grain coffee substitute, is recommended for the digestion, especially as a breakfast coffee.
Spring and well water are normally better than mineral water. As a general rule, a good mineral water should contain as few minerals as possible in oder to cleanse the body of waste products. Mineral water is not always good as a main drink, especially if it contains too many minerals.
Orange and lemon juice are good for your health, especially when fever is present.
Vitamin C is not an orange! Calories are not calories! Carbohydrate calories burn more body calories to be digested than fat calories which have been proven to fatten faster than carbohydrate calories. Fat is not fat; there are mono-, poly-unsaturated and saturated fatty acids as well as cholesterol, which all have their function in the body. Butter, in moderation, is better than the partially hydrogenated oils found in margarine.
This is not a „new way of cooking" but it is present-day cooking seen from the previously unknown viewpoint of St. Hildegard's medicine. The nutritional value of the various food sources is important, but their curative properties for mankind are just as important.
Hildegard's health food diet – 17 Recipes
Spelt constitutes a versatile, healthful family diet, since it tastes better than other grains and is suitable for both cooking and baking. Its success depends on knowing how to use spelt in the kitchen in order to prevent and cure diseases. An effective way to get spelt in the diet is with hot ground spelt cereal or home-made muffins for breakfast, a daily spelt kernel lettuce salad, spelt bread for lunch and spelt rice (cooked kernels) or spelt pasta for dinner.
2 cups water
1 cup coarsly-ground spelt, spelt flakes or spelt farina
1 apple, pared and chopped
1/3 cup cranberries or raisins
1/8 tsp. salt
Combine ingredients in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serves 2-4. Serve with brown sugar, maple syrup, cinnamon, galgant, chopped or ground almonds and coconut to taste. Variation with berries.
2 1/4 cups of spelt flour, fine or coarse in any combination<
1/4 cup brown sugar or honey
1 Tbsp. baking powder without aluminum
1/2 or less tsp. salt
1 1/4 cups milk
3 eggs, beaten
Tbsp. cold-pressed sunflower oil.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Grease and flour 12 muffin cups. Combine all dry ingredients. Add milk, eggs and oil and mix until moistened. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full with batter and bake for 17 minutes, or until brown. Variations: add 1/2 cup chopped almonds or 1/2 cup chopped dates or raisins, or 1/4 cup of each to batter before baking.
3. Quick Swedish Spelt pancakes
1 cup spelt flour
1 tsp. baking powder without aluminum
1 tsp. salt
1 egg, beaten
1 cup milk, or milk and water mixture
3 Tbsp. cold-pressed sunflower oil, or oil and melted butter mixture
Mix ingredients together. Let batter stand for a while before frying, the longer the better. Grease fry pan lightly, but only the first time. Fry one side until bubbles appear, then turn. Serve sweet with fruit, syrup, or sugar and cinnamon, or spicy with creamed mushrooms or spinach and melted cheese.
4. Banana bread
1/2 cup soft butter
1 cup or less brown sugar
2 eggs, beaten
2 cups spelt flour, fine and coarse mixed in any combination
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 or less tsp. salt
2 to 3 ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup chopped almonds (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter and sugar; add eggs and beat well. Add dry ingredients and finally bananas and nuts. Mix well. Bake in three 3 x 5-inch loaf pans or in one 5 x 9-inch loaf pan, well-greased. Bake for 1 hour or until toothpick comes out clean.
5. Cinnamon coffee cake
1/3 cup soft butter
1 cup or less brown sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/2cups spelt flour
1 tsp. baking powder without aluminum
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup milk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter and sugar; add eggs and blend. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Pour into an 8 x 8-inch or 9 x 9-inch well-greased baking dish. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes. Cool before cutting.
6. Spelt bread
2 packages dry yeast or 1 cake compressed yeast
1 Tbsp. sugar
7 cups flour, fine and coarse, but at least 3 cups fine flour are necessary
2 cups water (good well water is preferred)
1 Tbsp. salt
Boil water and then let it cool to a lukewarm temperature. Stir yeast and sugar, gradually adding lukewarm water. Add about half the flour and the salt and beat well. Add the remainder of the flour gradually to acquire a stiff dough. It may require more or less than the 7 cups given in the recipe. Knead 5 to 10 minutes until smooth and elastic. Put dough into a buttered bowl and turn once to butter surface. Cover with a towel and let rise until doubled, keeping it between 80 and 90 degrees F. during the entire time of rising. It will take about 2 hours for the bread to rise. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 9 x 5-inch loaf pans. Punch down with your fist and divide into two parts. Knead and shape into 2 loaves and place into loaf pans. Cover again and allow dough to rise to top of pans. Bake for 50 minutes. Variations: add spoonfuls of fleaseeds, fennel, caraway, pellitory and/or mother-of-thyme for spicy bread.
7. Rapid White Bread- breadmaschine
1 cup (210 ml) water
1 1/2 tbsp sunflower oil
3 1/4 cups (375 g) unbleached white spelt flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp brown suger
1 tsp instant dried yeast
1 tbsp milk powder
Put water and sunflower oil into the baking pan, add the flower, and milk powder. Put the salt and sugar in a separate corner of the pan. Make a little hole in the flour and add the yeast without getting it wet. Set the bread machine in a rapid setting and enjoy.
8. My sister's Light Wholemeal Bread
Approx. 1 cup white flour
Approx. 2 cups wholemealflour
1 cup water
1/2 cup yoghurt
1 1/4 tsp. Instant dried yeast
2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tbsp.sugar
1 tbsp. of each lecithin, soy grid, sunflowerseeds
Put water and yoghurt into the baking pan, add lecithin, soygrid and sunflowerseeds, salt and sugar. Add the flour and make a little hole in the flour and add the yeast without getting it wet. Turn on the bread maschine (normal setting) and enjoy.
9. Buttermilk Spelt Bread
1 cup buttermilk
2 cups spelt white flour
1 cup wholemeal speltflour
1 tbsp water
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp sunflower oil
1 tsp. Instant dried yeast
1 1/2 tsp salt
Put the buttermilk, water, honey and sunflower oil into the baking pan of the bread machine. Put the salt in one corner. Add the flour and make a little hole in the flour and add the yeast without getting it wet. Set the bread maschine to the normal setting and enjoy.
10. Spelt coffee
Roast spelt kernels in a clean fry pan without oil until brown. Remove 80 % of the kernels and continue roasting the rest until very dark. The resulting mixture is an excellent grain coffee. Brew 1 to 3 heaping Tbsp. in water until brown in color. Sieve and drink for breakfast to stimulate the bowel function. Add a few fresh spelt coffee kernels to the old kernels every day until they begin to fall apart. Then discard and begin anew. Regular coffee beans, finely ground or as an extract (instant coffee), affect the body in negative ways. Coffee makes one dependent, unfree, addicted. It undermines one's physical health, particularly the health of those with weak stomachs and heart infirmities. Chronic coffee abuse stimulates and stresses the body.
11. Spelt rice
1 cup spelt kernels
2 cups good water
Add spelt and water in a large sauce pan and heat until boiling. Simmer on very low heat, covered, for 30 minutes until liquid is absorbed. Serve instead of rice or potatoes. Or add to pancake batters or other dishes. Use cold in salads and desserts. Serves 4. Spelt rice can be kept in the refridgerator for 2-3 days
12. Spelt rice, Risotto
1 cup spelt kernels (Kernotto)
1 chopped onion
1 Tbsp. coconut oil
2 cups water or chicken broth
Fry onion in oil until glassy. Add kernels and fry with onions. Add liquid and simmer, stirring occasionally, until liquid is absorbed. Variations: add chopped garlic, carrots, green peppers, celery and/or tomatoes to taste.
13. Spelt Pilaf
1 cup spelt kernels
1 Tbsp. coconut oil
1 chopped onion
1/2 pound or more fresh mushrooms
2 cups chicken broth
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. pellitory and mother-of-thyme
3 Tbsp. parsley, chopped
Fry spelt and onions in oil 3 to 4 minutes. Add washed and chopped mushrooms and fry 5 more minutes. Add broth and spices and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cover. Simmer for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until liquid is absorbed. If pilaf becomes too dry during cooking, add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of water. Remove from heat and stir in parsley. Variation: add 1/2 cup grated cheese shortly before removing from heat.
14. Spelt stuffing
1 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. coconut oil
2-4 stalks celery, chopped
2 chopped onions
Giblets from chicken or turkey, chopped into small pieces
1 cup cooked spelt kernels (see above)
2 cups (approximately) spelt bread
1/2 cup water, milk or chicken broth, enough to moisten mixture
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp. mother-of-thyme and pellitory
2-3 tsp. sage
1/2-1 tsp. salt
1/2-1 tsp. black pepper
Fry onions and celery in butter and oil for 3 minutes. Add giblets and simmer until they are cooked throughout. In a large bowl mix bread with liquid; add egg and stir well. Combine all ingredients, adding more liquid if necessary. Knead well and stuff into chest cavity. If there is too much stuffing, spread it around poultry in the baking dish. It often tastes better with a crisp crust. Follow roasting instructions. Variation: add chopped cooked chestnuts for an exclusive flavor.
15. Meat Loaf
2 pounds lean ground beef
1 large onion, finely chopped
2-4 stalks celery, finely chopped
2 tsp. fresh parsley, minced
1 tsp. each, salt, mother-of-thyme and pellitory
1/2 tsp. each galangal, nutmeg, and black pepper
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup very coarsly ground spelt
1 cup cooked spelt kernels
1/2 cup broth or good well water
1 cup tomato sauce or whole tomatoes, sliced or mashed
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients except tomato sauce in a large bowl, kneading well. Pat meat loaf mixture into a greased 9 x 5-inch loaf pan. Bake for 30 minutes. Pour tomato sauce over meat loaf and return to oven. Continue baking another 30 minutes or until brown and slightly pulled away from the sides of the pan. Let stand for 10 minutes before cutting. Serve with buttered spelt noodles.
2 Tbsp. coconut oil
1-2 large onions, chopped
2-4 celery stalks, chopped
1 zucchini, chopped (optional)
1 green pepper, chopped
1-2 garlics, pressed
1 pound or more ripe tomatoes or 1 large can tomatoes
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. each, oregano and thyme
1/2 tsp. each, galangal and black pepper
salt to taste
Saute onions and celery in oil until glassy. Add zucchini, if desired, and fry further until slightly brown. Add rest of ingredients and simmer together on low heat for 20 minutes. Serve over spelt spaghetti with Parmesan cheese.