Posts Tagged ‘Candace Tierney’

Raw Mountain: Ottawa startup develops celery root snacks from scratch

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014
Candace Tierney uses Ontario-grown celery root to make Raw Mountain celery root chips. (Photos: Courtesy of Raw Mountain)

Candace Tierney uses Ontario-grown celery root to make Raw Mountain celery root chips.
(Photo: Courtesy of Raw Mountain)

Entrepreneur Candace Tierney wanted to combine her business smarts with her love of gardening, food preservation and plant-based eating. Since the 22-year-old U of Ottawa graduate already had two business ventures under her belt, it seemed like a natural step to start a new one, this time focused on developing and marketing local, vegan snacks.

Called Raw Mountain, the company recently launched the first of Candace’s products, a line of celery root chips she developed herself through months of trial and error. Besides Ontario-grown celery root (literally, the root of the celery stalks we’re more familiar with), the chips contain virgin coconut oil, organic apple cider vinegar and sea salt. “The response to the product so far has been incredible,” Candace says.

Why celery root?

It’s a tasty, nutritious vegetable that’s popular in Europe but not so much here.  The root’s low profile in North America was an attraction for Candace, whose goal is to challenge the way people think about food. She asked herself: “Why not use celery root to make a delicious, more sustainable alternative to potato chips?”

How are the chips made?

Candace washes the celery root, slices and chops it, adds the other ingredients, dehydrates the mixture and puts the finished chips into bags. One medium-size celery root yields three or four bags. A batch of 50 bags takes about two days to make.

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Are they healthy?

Celery root is a good source of many nutrients, such as vitamins C and B6, potassium, magnesium and fibre. Health benefits attributed to apple cider vinegar include lowering cholesterol, controlling blood sugar and aiding digestion. Virgin coconut oil (i.e., without hydrogenated or trans fats) contains lauric acid that boosts HDL or “good” cholesterol and lowers LDL or “bad” cholesterol. While sea salt contains as much sodium as table salt, it’s usually unprocessed so it retains traces of minerals like magnesium, potassium and calcium.

How “local” are the product ingredients?

The chips are made from scratch in West Ottawa. The celery root is Ontario-grown in-season, and Raw Mountain has a call out to farmers in Ottawa and across the province interested in partnering to supply celery root. At this point, the product’s organic apple cider vinegar, sea salt and virgin coconut oil are not or cannot be sourced locally.

How do Raw Mountain celery root chips taste?

They taste like celery – no surprise — but with an earthier, more substantial flavour that’s rounded out by the apple cider vinegar and hint of sea salt.

Where can I buy them?

They can be purchased online or through retail outlets and restaurants, including: Rainbow Foods and Herb & Spice Shop (Bank and Wellington stores) in Ottawa; Natural Food Pantry in Kanata; Dandelion Foods in Almonte; and Alice’s Village Café in Carp. Come fall, the snacks will also be available at the Carp Farmers Market.

What do they cost?

In a retail store, they cost $3.97 for a 20g bag. Online orders are priced lower, at $2.80 per bag, because they come in packs of 6, 16 or 24.

I’ve tried the chips and want to give Raw Mountain my feedback. How do I do that?

Send Candace an email at info@rawmountainfoods.com, post your feedback on Facebook or send her a tweet @rawmountain.

Do you preserve seasonal fruit and veggies by dehydrating them? How do you use the end product?