Habermus, after Hildegard von Bingen

This recipe Habermus is based on a morning cereal recipe from Hildegard von Bingen. Von Bingen was a 12th century visionary, theologian, natural scientist, herbalist, poet, composer, abbess and founder of two Benedictine monasteries. von Bingen was an enthusiastic advocate of spelt grain as easier to digest and more suited to the German environment than wheat.

Course Breakfast
Keyword Apple, Breakfast, Ginger, Lent, Porridge, Spelt
Region Schwabia, Austria
Servings 4 people


  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup spelt flour or spelt flakes
  • 1 apple chopped or grated
  • 1 pinch ginger or galangal powder
  • 1 pinch Bertram powder optional
  • 2 tsp honey
  • cinnamon to taste


  • Stir the spelt meal into cold water and gently boil for 5 inutes, stirring constantly.
  • Stir in the grated apple, ginger (or galangal), bertram (optional). Add the honey and serve warm, sprinkled with cinnamon.
  • If desired, top with pumpkin seeds, coconut flakes and/or dried cranberries. 
Translated and adapted from Archdiocese of Vienna, Austria.


Galangal is well-known from Thai food, but powdered galangal is not widely available, so powdered ginger may be substituted. Bertram powder is no longer a common spice; it has a pungent taste. Both galangal powder and Bertram powder may be found on the internet.