Ginger Kombucha

Kombucha is a tasty and nutritious fermented tea drink. It's fizzy just like soda, but low in sugar and packed with beneficial vitamins and probiotics.  

Ginger Kombucha Recipe:

1-½ litres boiling water
¾ cup raw organic sugar
4 bags of green or brown tea (or) 1 tablespoon of green or brown loose leaf tea
1x Scoby (Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast) and 2 cups of pre-made kombucha
Special equipment
Jar (2 litre)
2x 750ml Clean glass bottles
Cheese cloth or paper towel
Rubber band

Pour boiling water over sugar and tea in the jar. Stir well to help dissolve the sugar. Let the sweet tea brew and cool. Once the tea is cold, strain to remove the tea leaves. At this stage, lovingly add the scoby and pre-made kombucha to the tea with clean hands.
Wish it well and cover the mouth of the jar with a couple layers of cheese cloth or paper towel secured with a rubber band. Keep the fermenting kombucha at room temperature, out of direct sunlight where it won’t get disturbed. Leave to ferment for 7-10 days, checking periodically.
After 7 days, begin tasting the kombucha daily. When it reaches the balance of sweeetness and tartness that is pleasing to you, the kombucha is ready to bottle.

With clean hands, gently lift the scoby out and pour off two cups of kombucha for your next batch and setaside. 

2nd Ferment:
Strain the tea into a measuring pouring jug. (sometimes there are other bits and pieces form in the tea). Pour into 750ml bottles about ¾ full. Add 1 teaspoon of finely grated ginger for each bottle. Place the lid on the bottles and store it away from direct sunlight (I leave it in a cupboard). Allow to ferment again for 1-3 days for the kombucha to carbonate. Once carbonated to your liking, strain the ginger out, re-bottle and place in fridge ready to enjoy. Kombucha will keep for several weeks in fridge.

Now that you know the basic recipe, you can experiment with different teas and different flavours. Try flavouring with berries or apple. Enjoy your Kombucha!

CCC Salad!

Carrott salad post.jpg

1 cup of cashews
1 cup shredded coconut
2 teaspoons of ground coriander
2 Tablespoons coconut oil
3 large carrots
3 teaspoons black sesame seeds
2 Tablespoons maple syrup
Juice of 1 lemon
Fresh Coriander for garnish

Mix cashews, coconut, coriander and coconut oil together and toast in the oven.

Spiralise carrots.  A spiraliser creates noodle or spaghetti-like shapes.  If you don’t have a spiraliser, you can use your peeler to create ribbon like slices. (You can also pick one up from us in the cafe, more on that below). 
Once cashew mixture has emerged from the oven, mix with the carrot and the rest of the ingredients.  Garnish with as much fresh coriander as you like. 
This a wonderful salad because carrots are in season and inexpensive. At  Reality Bites Cafe & Kitchen love to use organic food, especially from our own cafe garden! 
Have you noticed the difference in taste of conventional carrots and organic carrots?

We use our spiraliser daily in our cafe and If you don’t own a spiraliser, I am going to be so bold as saying you don’t know how wonderful life can be with one in your life! We have them for sale for only $15 at Reality Bites Cafe & Kitchen Rangiora. 

Have you made this recipe or had it at the cafe? Share your reviews below :)  

Elisa’s Easter Raw Chocolate & Coconut Macaroons!

Easter is around the corner … and that means chocolate! I LOVE chocolate, but the thought of all the sugar in shop-bought Easter treats gives me a headache – so today, I’d like to share my favourite Easter delight. These aren’t the intensely sweet, full of food colouring French Macaroons, nor are they the processed Macaroons from the supermarket. 
These are little pieces of heaven that melt in your mouth. GUILT FREE and SO good, you’ll need all your willpower to not devour them before they are finished! 

 Proudly dairy free, gluten-free, nut free, processed sugar-free!

Here’s how:


2¾ cups of coconut flakes

¾ c of maple syrup / rice malt syrup

2 t vanilla extract

¼ t salt (preferably Himalayan sea salt)

2 cups desiccated coconut.

½ cup coconut oil (optional)

 Chocolate coating:

1/2 cup cacao

1/2 cup raw organic agave nectar / raw coconut nectar

1/4 cup coconut oil, melted


Process 2¾ cups of coconut flakes in your food processor. (This could take up to 10 minutes). You want it smooth & creamy. (Stop and scrape regularly).
Cheat: add about ½ cup of melted coconut oil to the mix to hasten the process.

Add maple syrup / rice malt syrup, vanilla essence, salt and pulse until well mixed. Add desiccated coconut.  Process until well mixed.

Scoop small teaspoons into balls and place into either a dehydrator at 40c for 8-12 hours or the oven on the lowest possible temperature. (You want the outside to be lightly crispy & deliciously soft inside).

Chocolate Coating:

Whisk all ingredients together. Dip the macaroons into the chocolate, remove with a fork and place on a rack.   (You can add roasted almonds, garnish with some flaky salt…the options are endless!)

 Remember, we’ll have these, as well as our yummy salted cacao option, for you at Reality Bites Café Rangiora! 

 Have fun! We would love to hear about your experiments!

Elisa x


RB's Cashew Milk

Of all the nut milks, cashew milk is by far my favorite. It's really absolutely delicious.

Raw cashew milk is delicious on its own or as a vegan milk substitute  - for example, with cereal. 
If you'd like to try cashew milk as a non-dairy milk substitute, here's how to make a Raw Cashew Milk, suitable for vegans, those on a raw food diet or those of you who just want to have something tasty! 

Cashew Milk
1 C cashews
4 C water
Wizz cashews and 1 c water in processor until white and creamy. Slowly pour in
another 3 cups of water and continue to wizz for about another minute. Mixture
should be smooth and creamy. Strain through a nut milk bag or strainer. Be sure to date the
It can be sweetened by favourite sweetener - maple syrup or rice malt syrup. Or a
few dates may be added with the cashews at the beginning of the process.
This should keep for about 5 days.

We always have our own freshly made cashew milk in the cafe - why not try a cashew latte or swap milk for cashew milk in your next milkshake at Reality Bites?! 

- Elisa x 


Less carbs. More flavour!

Guess what? Eating healthily no longer means you have to miss out on your favourite noodle / pasta dishes. 
We've recently discovered the world of spiraled vegetables( i.e.:Vegettii!) – and we love it!
Using a new & improved peeler you can create vegetable spirals: a tasty alternative to pasta and noodles.
We've been so inspired at Reality Bites by our new toy: the Super Vegetable Peeler; that we created a dish that has become an instant best seller in the café!
Today I’d like to share it with you:
RB’s Thai Zucchini Salad. 
3 large zucchinis (approx 800g)
½ red onion finely sliced
1 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds
¼ Cup toasted almonds slivers (and a few more to garnish)
½ Cup fresh coriander chopped
Salt to taste

For the Thai Dressing:
2 cloves garlic minced
1 red chili
2 Tbsp ginger, peeled and grated
¼ Cup spring onion
2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
2 Tbsp tamari
2 Tbsp peanut, almond or cashew butter
1 Tbsp sesame oil (toasted or untoasted)

Spiral zucchini (To ensure you get your 5-a-day you can also add spiral carrots and/ or red pepper)  Toss red onion, almonds and sesame seeds through the zucchini noodles.

For the dressing, throw all the ingredients into a food processor. Pulse to make a smooth dressing.   Gently toss the dressing through the zucchini noodles with the coriander (but save some to garnish at the end). Serve with saved coriander and toasted almonds.
You can try the salad at the café – or create your own as we have a limited number of Super Vegetable Peelers in stock! 

Elisa x 

Summer Raw Berry Tart

One of my favourite summer foods are fresh berries! One of our favourite summer family activities is berry picking; be it at our local raspberry or blueberry orchard, going down to the river to pick wild blackberries, or simply picking strawberries from our own patch.

Years ago I would rush to my kitchen with my fresh berries, add sugar and create a blackberry pie or fresh raspberry ice cream. Now that I’m more informed about my food choices, I limit cooking with sugar, flour and butter. My favourite thing to make with our freshly picked berries is …
Raw berry tart! 
Now, I’m hoping that more people will enjoy this tasty treat!

The beauty about this recipe, is that by not cooking the ingredients, you are maximising the nutrients in food.  My personal favourite for this recipe is strawberries, but you can experiment with different berries. The best thing is: it’s easier than making a normal tart, cheesecake or berry pie!


1-½ cups dates
1-½ cups coconut
¼ cup cacao nibs

2-½ cups raw cashews (soaked and drained)
¾ cup of melted raw virgin coconut oil
3 cups berries of your choice
Juice and rind of 2 limes and 1 lemon
1-½ cups dried cranberries (soaked and drained)
Dash of sweetener of choice - my favourite is real maple syrup

Soak and drain dates, blend well with coconut then add cacao nibs.  Blend again to mix.  Press into a round springform tin 20 cm in diameter.  Place into freezer while you make the topping.

A note about the base: my favourite super easy base is simply dates and coconut.  You can then experiment by adding ground nuts or seeds of your choice.  The cacao nibs gives it a delightful crunch and toasty flavour as well as a super-food boost. 

Process cashews and melted coconut oil until smooth.  Add remainder of ingredients and process until smooth and creamy.  Place on top of base and place in freezer or refrigerate until firm.

I would love to hear about your results! Contact me with your pictures, questions, ideas - anything at all! And if you run out of time to make it yourself, you can come and try it at the café; Reality Bites Cafe & Kitchen in Gables Arcade Rangiora.

 Have a delicious berry season!

Elisa x

Rhubarb Smoothie!

In case you weren't aware... raw rhubarb is edible and it provides a plethora of health benefits! When juiced, it doesn't resemble our delicious gluten-free  Rhubarb & White Choc Muffins one bit; in fact by itself it is reasonably tart and perhaps a little powdery... but don't let that put you off. Simply combine it with frozen banana, frozen blueberries, maca powder and it transforms into a delicious, refreshing, ice-cold smoothie! It's also a very pretty pink colour!


  • 3 stalks raw rhubarb (juiced)
  • 1 & 1/2 frozen bananas (TIP: It's a good idea to always have bananas in the freezer for instant ice cream or cold smoothies)
  • 1/2 cup frozen berries
  • 1 heaped tablespoon of maca powder


  • Blend. :) 

- Elisa x

Reality Bites Vegan Pesto

This is so fresh and full of flavour...and this is the pesto that we use in our cafe menu....It is dairy free and so vegan.

It's not as expensive to make as 'standard' pesto because it is not using pine nuts and parmesan.

It's much better if you use organic garlic as conventional garlic is sprayed with many different pesticides and particularly the garlic imported from China - sprayed so that the garlic doesn't sprout.

1 Cup of pumpkin seeds, soaked for at least 10 mins in hot water, drained

2 Cups packed with basil, coriander, silverbeet, spinach or whatever you want to use as the green base (roughly chopped)

3 cloves garlic (chopped)

¼ Cup of oil - anything good quality - macadamia, olive or avocado

2 Tablespoons of miso

2 Tablespoons of lemon juice

¼ Cup of toasted cashews or walnuts or sunflower seeds or any seed or nut of choice

Place all ingredients (except toasted cashews as we want them a bit chunky) into food processor. Pulse until combined, add cashews and pulse again until you have your desired consistency.

This pesto freezes well and will last up to 7 days covered in the fridge.

Reality Bites Mayan Bliss Balls

Paleo and Vegan Free

You will need:

24 soaked dates
1 cup cashews
1 cup walnuts
1 cup pumpkin seeds
3 t vanilla essence
6 T cocoa powder
3 teaspoons orange essence
3 T honey
1/8 t chilli powder
1-1/2 t cinnamon
1/3 c cacao nibs (optional but gives the ball an interesting texture)

Coating: coarsely ground pumpkin seeds mixed with dessicated coconut.
Soak dates in boiling water for at least 10 mins. Drain and squeeze as much water out as possible and set aside. Place cashews, walnuts and pumpkin seeds into processor and process until a coarse texture. Add vanilla and orange essences, cocoa, honey, chilli, cinnamon and dates. Process to a fine texture. Add cacao nibs and pulse until mixed through. Makes 12 60g balls. Roll balls in pumpkin/coconut mixture.
One really cool thing about some of the ingredients I have chosen for this recipe:
Cashews: A great mineral source, cashews contain 31% of the daily recommended value for copper. Copper affects pigmentation in the skin and hair.
Pumpkin seeds: are a rich source of zinc which helps repair damaged tissues and heal wounds, and for healthy skin and hair.
Walnuts: Walnuts are the main “non-fish” source of alpha-linolenic acid, which gets transformed into omega-3 fatty acids in our bodies and can help reduce the risk of heart disease by improving blood flow around the arteries.
Cinnamon: helps regulate blood sugar – helps when trying to kick the sugar habit.
Chilli: Increases circulation – good to have daily during winter to keep you warm.
Cacao Nibs: Cacao nibs are cocoa beans that have been roasted, separated from their husks and broken into smaller pieces. Basically chocolate at its rawest. Studies show that cocoa nibs have higher antioxidant levels than blueberries, red wine and green tea. The antioxidants in cocoa nibs are also more stable than in other foods and are easy for the body to assimilate. Also contains a little caffeine, so good for a pick me up.
Dates: When it comes to the number of minerals, vitamins, and health-benefiting phytonutrients in dates, suffice it to say there are a lot of them. First and foremost, they’re easily digested, allowing your body to make full use of their goodness.
I wanted to create a snack, without processed sugar, wheat and dairy, which people could enjoy not only because it is delicious but super good for them too. This delicious snack is totally guilt-free! Elisa x