Hildegard von Bingen’s Spelt Couscous

Credits: Ceri, Zenxin master chef

Living in the 12th century as a Benedictine abbess in Bingen am Rhein, Hildegard was a polymath and her studies included herbs and diet. She observes that “Der Dinkel ist der beste getreide….” (Spelt is the very best grain…..)  In her eyes it improves our vitality so much that she recommends spelt porridge with a little butter to nourish those who were so sick they could not eat. 

Science has since determined that spelt is easier to digest than modern day wheat, is rich in prebiotics, vitamins and micronutrients, is anti-inflammatory, anti-depressant and stimulates the immune system. For this recipe we have used her theory of balancing the humours and taken ingredients from her list of healing foods to enhance the  spelt couscous and give you the most beneficial organic fast food dish. 

Using organic butter, one of Hildegard’s healing foods we have gently stir-fried onions, pumpkin & asparagus and added garbanzos and sweet chestnuts from her list. Germany used to grow asparagus for the Roman empire as there was a high demand for this detoxing diuretic. To this day asparagus season is still eagerly awaited in Germany with ‘Spargelzeit’ heralding the annual Spring cure. A drizzle of organic raw chestnut honey completes the dish.

Key facts:

  • Preparation: 10 mins
  • Rehydration/cooking time: 15 mins
  • Total: 25 mins 
  • Serves: 4-6


  • 2 cups Simply Natural Organic Spelt Couscous
  • 3 cups boiling filtered water (spelt absorbs more water that wheat couscous)
  • 30g Organic Grass-fed Butter
  • 170g Fresh Green Organic Asparagus
  • 200g Organic Pumpkin
  • 1 small Organic Brown Onion
  • ½ cup cooked Organic Garbanzo Beans
  • ½ cup sweet chestnuts, cut small
  • A drizzle of raw Spanish Organic Chestnut Honey


  1. Pour 1 cup of boiling water over the couscous in a large bowl.
  2. Mix with a fork and cover with a cloth during the rehydration ~15 mins.
  3. Top, tail and remove skin from the onion and chop finely.
  4. Wash the asparagus and cut into 1′ pieces removing the tough bottom parts.
  5. Wash and remove skin from the pumpkin and cut into small cubes.
  6. Stir-fry onion, asparagus and pumpkin until tender.
  7. Fluff up the rehydrated couscous and add in the vegetable mixture.
  8. Add in the chickpeas and chestnuts, combine well, drizzle honey and serve.

Tip: Allocate ½ cup uncooked couscous per person

The Ingredients

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