Hildegard's Recipes

Saint Hildegard of Bingen was a German mystic of the twelfth century. Her famous medicinal cooking recipes, as well as much of her knowledge of medicine came to her in a series of visions that she had during her life. In this section we will share some of them with you; we hope you will enjoy them and benefit from them as much as we do.

"I see these things not with my external eyes, nor do I hear them with my external ears. I see them rather only in my soul with my bodily eyes wide open, so that I am never overcome by ecstatic unconsciousness, but see these things when I am awake during the day and during the night. The light that I see is not confined to space. It is much lighter than a cloud which bears the sun within it. I can recognize neither height nor length nor breadth in it. I am told it is the shadow of the living light. In this light I sometimes, but not often, see another light which I am told is the living light. When and how long I can see it I cannot say. But as long as I see it, all sadness and all fear are taken from me, so that I feel like a simple young girl and not like an old woman."

                                                              Hildegard of Bingen's Medicine, 140.

Spelt Bread

Hildegard always said that Spelt wheat is a wonderful food for those with poor digestion and a weak liver. Besides, Spelt has several nutritional advantages over modern wheat.

300 gm of whole Spelt flour. (If you like a lighter bread, use 150 gm of Spelt flour and 150 gm of white flour - I personally like it this way.)
200 gm of Spelt flakes.
2 teaspoonfuls of dry yeast.
20 gm of butter (or 1 tablespoonful of sunflower oil).
2 teaspoonfuls of salt.
1 teaspoonful of sugar.
350 ml of warm water.

Put the butter in the warm water to let it melt. Then add the dry yeast, sugar and salt, and whisk it well.

Stir the flour and flakes together in a large bowl.

Pour the liquid mixture in the bowl, mix everything well and knead for 5 minutes without removing from the bowl.

Wrap and cover the bowl with tea towels, and let it rest 15 minutes.

Turn on the oven to  220 C / 430 F.

Put the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead again 3 more minutes.

Place the dough in a lightly oiled bread mould and let it rest 5 minutes.

Make one lengthwise slash on the surface of the bread with a knife, and place it inside the preheated oven.

Cook for 25 minutes.

Wrap the bread with a light tea towel and let it cool.

Memory Oil

This simple and easy to prepare oil can be helpful for those who are becoming forgetful and seem to be loosing their practical intelligence.

Stinging nettles
Olive oil

Pulverize the stinging nettles very carefully and add a bit of olive oil. Mix them thoroughly.
Rub this oil strongly on your chest and temples, before going to bed. Do this daily and you should see results after a few days.

Nerve Cookies, or Intelligence Cookies

These cookies are helpful to sooth the nerves and reduce their ageing process. They also stimulate the intelligence and create a cheerful heart and countenance. They are known to be beneficial to distracted school children.

1 1/2 cups of butter
3 cups of brown sugar
1/2 teaspoonful of salt
2 eggs - well beaten
4 teaspoonfuls of baking powder
6 cups of flour
2 1/2 teaspoonfuls of cinnamon
2 1/4 teaspoonfuls of nutmeg
1/2 teaspoonful of cloves
1 cup of ground or chopped almonds (optional)

Turn into cream the butter and sugar until it is light and fluffy.
Add the eggs.
Combine and sift the dry ingredients and then add them to the creamed mixture.
Knead on a floured surface.
Shape the knead into rolls, wrap them in waxed paper and chill them thoroughly.
Once the rolls are firm, cut them in thin slices.
Bake the cookies at 190C / 375F.

Please, eat three to five cookies a day.

Quenched Wine

Quenched Wine is helpful in the case of weak nerves, irritability, anger, sadness and sleeplessness.

Heat to boiling point one glass of a good red wine in a pan.
As soon as the bubbles begin to surface pour in 1/2 glass of cool water in a single fluid motion.
Remove from fire and drink, sipping it slowly while is warm.
Please, drink everyday for a few weeks if you wish to see more lasting results. Otherwise, even for a few days it will be beneficial.

The wine reduces its alcoholic content to less than 2% due to the boiling. Nevertheless, if this quantity of wine is too much for you, even a few daily tablespoonfuls will be beneficial.

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