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Developing a Nutritional Value Cookbook for Students

Create a cookbook for University Students with Nutritional Value




Response to brief



Critical Evaluation


Appendix I

Appendix II

Appendix III

Appendix IV

Appendix V

Response to Brief

The aim of this project was to develop the ability to design pages and general skills that concern designing and also to create and publish a cookbook targeted at students who are in university and make cooking more accessible for them. As well as this another aim was to develop culinary techniques that could be used in the future.

In this project there were several methods used to bring out the finished product such as al dente involves cooking pasta until it is soft but still has a firm bite , sautéing (frying quickly in hot oil or fat), brunoise dice (A basic knife cut measuring 1/8 inch × 1/8 inch × 1/8 inch) and many more. All of these were used to achieve the final products of different recipes.

The outcome of this project was successful; a cookbook was produced with recipes from different continental backgrounds, that all have nutritional value in many different ways, either being balanced or having different aspects of a healthy diet.


This project will consist of an artefact which is a cookbook. The cookbook has been specially designed for university students to enhance not only their independence but also encourage healthy eating with recipes that consist of nutritional value, this creates an incentive for a healthier lifestyle therefore allowing the intention of this project to be fulfilled. The intention of this project is out of personal interest as cooking is a hobby and something that is done for other people and a skill that is desired to be developed by many university students, which is an option by many hence why this project is being fulfilled. The skills that are required will be used in the future as a reference and to help others have and live a healthier lifestyle. Consequently, this artefact is important because university students are either living off the bare minimum and wasting money by ordering take outs, which does not profit their health, so this cookbook was created to be a better and healthier alternative whilst being fun and creative in terms of a diet. The process in which this project will endeavour on will be lengthy and requires lots of patience and time. The first process will be the research which entails, researching different foods that will be encompassed within the cookbook. As well as the research will include the finding of different cultures and ethnic groups and discovering their cuisine examples of these are; Asian, African European and many more. In addition to this the research also takes account of the finding of deserts that will be contained within the cookbook, also there will be research on the nutritional value of different kinds of foods for the body. Not all foods that are consumes have nutritional value for the body, especially the healthy ones, hence why the cookbook will be outlining the ones that are good for the body and including them within the cookbook. Then after the practicing of making the foods will take about 3 weeks with continuous cooking, this is so that the recipes can be perfected and then the next process of putting the images in the book will commence.


Figure 1: Nutritional label for Caramel Popcorn

What is Nutritional Value

This project was to make a cook book that has nutritional value. According to, nutritional value ‘refers to content of food and the impact they have on my body’. It also concentrates on how different health problems such as diseases can be prohibited or reduced. This includes all the aspects of a balanced diet such as fats, carbohydrates, proteins. These different aspects of nutritional value are crucial for the development of the human body, hence why all food products have nutritional labels on the packaging to give insight as to what is being consumed.  As you can see from Figure 1 the contents of the caramel popcorn have been listed, with the given percentages and grams. The percentage given is the daily value, this suggests how much would be induced daily, if the popcorn were to be eaten daily, it also exhibits the type of organic compounds and molecules that will be induced. According to Johnson popcorn nutritional page, the % daily tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food. This supplies the necessary amount for a daily diet of 2,000 calories a day.

According to the primary research, that was taken by students aged 17-25, many are aware that nutrition is important; this is ideal as it shows that many young students know that nutrition is essential for daily living and for life overall. However according to figure 3 over 85% do not take three meals a day, with the word always being essential as it insinuates that three meals a day should be a regular occurrence, this contradicts figure 2 as it shows that the nutrition is important but the act of incorporating it within a daily diet is not being executed. This is due to the lack of information given to students about the importance of nutrition, nutrition is important for having a healthy lifestyle and combined with the correct things such as exercise, it can help uphold a healthy weight and prevent chronic diseases (

Figure 2: Primary Research, Questionnaire on nutrition

Figure 3: Primary Research, Questionnaire on daily intake

Nutrition as well as diet are two very important aspects to help maintain a healthy lifestyle for the duration of a person’s life. Unhealthy eating habits as shown by figure 4, contribute to unhealthy lifestyles and epidemics such as obesity in the United States; with one-third of US adult being obese and 17% of adolescents being obese as well ( This is due to the bad eating habits of parents and lack of insight into what is and should be induced by people. Hence why going to university is one of the major places that nutrition and diet can be over looked to due to the freedom and lack of money. However, maintaining a healthy diet is very simple and easy for university students who are on a diet.  According to ‘the government recommend that university students should have diet that consists of starchy carbohydrates such as breads and potatoes, as well as a diet rich in fruit and vegetables.’ Many university students believe that having a diet that is heavily based on one of these aspects is extremely beneficial as they are supplementing for other things, but this is not the case as one group of foods can not provide al the vital nutrients one’s body need, this makes it extremely important to have a variety of foods that will give adequate amounts of nutrition needed for the body. Nevertheless, the intake for males and females are quite different due to the difference in genetic composition of the two genders, this is shown in figure 5. As you can see the difference between eat category is not immense but over a duration of time it accumulates to something quite drastic.

Figure 5: Recommended intake of Men and Women in the US

Figure 4 Primary Research: Food Diary, Hannah aged 19 in University


The exploration of this artefact was a lengthy one, as research on what kind of cookbook had to be made, what kind of recipes must be within the cookbook and most importantly the layout that was to be in the cookbook.

In Annie Bell’s cookbook, Gorgeous Cakes, the layout of the book was very minimalist and sophisticated, which served as inspiration for the artefact, as the cookbook is for university students there needs to be a level of sophistication. Hence why one page is dedicated to the picture of the product, with the other side of the page being the ingredients and instructions. As well as this Jamie Oliver used a relaxed tone within his cookbook, 5 Ingredients – Quick & Easy Food ‘I’ve kept the equipment I’ve used in this book pretty simple- a set of saucepans and non-stick ovenproof frying pan’- the fact he used informal writing gives the book a relaxed feel, the language used within the cookbook was based off of this relaxed informal writing style so as to relate with the audience and create a sense of fun and ease  within the recipes.  In addition to this photography of the food was taken however, the pictures were taken through an iPhone rather a professional camera which posed a problem. This was very quickly over come with useful tips from the insider, overall the most important aspect of the taking professional pictures is the angles and the lighting. These are two very crucial parts of, if either of these aspects are not good or are lacking the photo will not look profession and the image will be very dull. One of the aims of the cook book is for it to look professional but at the same time very homelike, to create a sense of comfort and nostalgia within the pictures.

For the artefact different foods from different backgrounds where to be incorporated within the book so that the users had a variety to choose from and to make the book more interesting. Different background where though of such as oriental, British, African and many more, these where so that every recipe presented a challenge. These challenges were presented in many ways, some being culinary techniques and other being cooking techniques. However, before these were produced the recipes had to be researched and created. Majority of recipes were ideas that were thought of and found by looking through cook books and searching online. Some of the recipes include Banana pancakes, Avocado brownies, Rasta Pasta and many more.


Many experiments were taken during the production of this cookbooks some including, materials, techniques and the process of making the artefact. Majority if the culinary tools that were used were very basic however the context in which they had to be used was very complex, for example in some of the recipes a spoon was to be used however the use of wooden serving fork was the most appropriate for the situation at hand. The experimentation of different kitchen utensils was very frequent during the process of making the different recipes as not all the utensils listed were necessary or convenient to use for that recipes this was proved as a very difficult task, as particular utensils had to be used for different recipes but at either interchanging time or the same time, as there was only one of that utensil. In addition to this some of the equipment that was needed, was not available, thus proved difficult for the process of the recipes as well as the progression of the recipes were slowed down, causing the cooking time to be lengthier and making the process a more difficult one. Once the equipment was purchased, some of them were not working and trying to figure how they worked was a difficult process, not being able to figure it out was a challenge, therefore the experimentation of using another similar equipment had begun eventually a solution was found.

There was less experimentation during the process stage, this was due to the fact that there was negotiating to the process in which things should be done, however there was experimentations with the seasoning and spices that were including within the food. The classic salt and pepper was not enough, different tastes were needed within these recipes in order for them to be personalised. The different spices included, all purpose seasoning, maggi stock cubes and curry powder, these were added to create different kinds of flavour combination within the mouth for them to be new experiences within each recipe.

The techniques used within this cookbook were very experimental as they are techniques that have not been used before. Figure 6 is a picture of a cutting technique is the claw technique, this consists of the hands being hunch over on the object in this case is a plantain. This technique is to help in terms of safety with a knife and to prevent hazards. The thumb is meant to be perpendicular to the plantain, the thumb also keeps the food in a good position so that there is a secure grip on the food. The claw grip is an efficient way to dice food and cut food long ways (batonnet) as it helps with gripping the food to maintain a consistent size when cutting the food into the desired shape. During this grip, the tip of the knife is used to cut the food, whilst moving the food up to cut the food, this is to maintain a rhythm and have a consistent cuttings size. By using the tip of the knife, it is safer to cut the food.

Figure 6: Cutting Technique

Figure 7 shows another cutting technique, this shows the fingers stretched out on the food, with just the fingertips on the food. This technique does not have as much grip on the food, therefore allowing a much more relaxed motion on the knife. The middle of the knife and the end of the knife are used in a rocking motion to cut the food, this does not create a consistent cutting size, as this food does not require a consistent cutting size. This grip technique is more dangerous than the one shown in figure 6 as all the fingertips are exposed towards the sharpest part of the knife, thus causing hazards.

Figure 7: Cutting Technique


The production of the final piece had a lengthy process. In the beginning of the process, the intention to have levels of difficulty, however this was quickly discarded as it was difficult to clearly distinguish between the levels. Therefore, the level of skill was not being shown within each recipe. Correspondingly it became rather difficult to think of recipes that had different levels of difficulty because every person’s interpretation of difficulty is different, and this creates a barrier into finding a common ground of difficulty that everyone can achieve.

The final product includes the three meals of the day including appetizers and desserts, this is so that the cookbook is all inclusive in terms of the recipes and everything needed for a healthy balanced diet is within the one cookbook so that multiple cookbooks do not have to be used. At the beginning there was an extensive list of recipes that were to be incorporated within the cookbook, however this was not possible to time of which creating all these recipes would take. If all of the initial recipes were to be used the process of having to cook the recipes would have began in September and this would take up to March, with the amount of time that was allocated this would not have been possible and from research into the amount of time to create books this would not have been remotely possible to produce all the recipes and the book in the time given.  In addition to this the layout of the book change several times so as to fit the target audience and so that is was easier to read the book and comprehend what was going on within the book, there is also a page dedicated to the image of the food that is labelled on the other side, this is to give a rough idea of what the finished product should look like, also so that is appealing to the eye.

Critical Evaluation

The process that has been taken to achieve the desired outcome was a lengthy one. The process could have most definitely been shortened or developed more so as to bring out the desired outcome but also to save time. During this process, it was very well thought out and detailed hence why it worked so well to bring out the outcome of the cookbook, along with this layout of the book is very well suited to the target audience and the content within the cookbook abides by the brief very well by including nutritional value within the recipes, given that they et three meals a day. The nutrition is not suited one particular person as each person’s dietary need is different, this makes the cookbook versatile for everyone needs as they have different options to choose from with a three meals a day are included.

These recipes within the cookbook have helped develop skills such as time management. Time management has been developed and improved through the planning of each stage, to create the cookbook. This has helped because sticking to a strict plan creates organisation and ease within the work as everything will be completed within the given deadlines and to the upmost potential. Alongside this research skill have been developed because specific research was needed within the writing and the development of the cookbook, consequently some research had to be filtered through and picked apart so as to find the required information to produce a substantial piece of work, with the improvement in research it strengthened critical writing skills as it was easier to write because the useful information was used therefore further analysis could be made on the text and analysis on the cookbook could be made.

If this project was to be restarted, the process would have been different. Deeper insight into nutrition and diet would have been incorporated into the recipes so the target audience are aware, also the target audience could have been more specific such as, vegetarians or vegan in university so as to be more specific and personalise the content to a certain demographic of people. On the other hand, in the beginning large expectations would not be set as they would not be possible, because the level of skill that is already attained is not enough to create extravagant recipes. Likewise, small achievable targets would be set from the beginning so that they could be achieved quickly, and the desired outcome would be desired at a much-desired pace and a at a better quality. Goals such as cooking recipes earlier on would have been set so that more recipes could be made, and more editing of pictures could happen. With more editing in the pictures, it would help create a more professional look within the pictures which would allow more sophistication within the book.



Accessed September 26th  2018 at  3.40pm

Accessed February 14th  2019 at  2.30pm

Accessed February 12th 2019 at 1.30pm

Accessed January 2nd 2019 at 10.40pm

Accessed January 3rd 2019 at 3.30pm

Accessed October 28th 2018 at 12.00pm

Accessed February 12th 2019 at .40pm

Accessed December 3rd 2018 at 7.40am Accessed December 4th 2018 at 11.10am

Accessed December 4th 2018 at 12.00pm

Accessed December 5th 2018 at 4.00pm

Accessed December 6th 2018 at 5.00pm

Accessed December 7th 2018 at 2.20pm

Accessed December 7th 2018 at 3.00pm


5 Ingredients – Quick & Easy Food (Jamie Oliver) -accessed 5th February 2019 at 5.00pm

Chocolate Baking (Gina Steer) -accessed 10th December 2018 at 3.40pm

Gorgeous Cakes (Annie Bell) -accessed 10th December 2018 at 3.30pm

The Weeknight Dinner cookbook (Mary Younkin) -accessed 11th December 2018 at 4.00pm

Whole 30 Fast & Easy (Melissa Hartwig) -accessed 12th December 2018 at 4.00pm

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