Resource Centre Future 50 Foods you Can Introduce to your Family Meals

Our global population is growing, and with it, the demand on our food resources. Apart from population growth, we have also begun to rely heavily on a small selection of crops – a phenomenon which could lead to soil erosion. Eating sustainably is now more important than ever. The Future 50 Foods Report outlines an achievable solution to the impact our food habits have had on the environment. By bringing greater diversity into our diets, and lessening our reliance on overused ingredients, we can reduce our impact on our food supply of the future while enjoying more interesting, flavourful and nutritious meals today.

The Future 50 Foods have been selected based on their nutritional value, relative environmental impact, flavour, acceptability, and potential accessibility and affordability. Among the 50 ingredients, 10 are of priority for South Africa. Each of these ingredients is full of flavour, rich in nutrients and ready to be added to your meal plan.

Pumpkin Leaves:

Decades ago, it would have been impossible to move through South African markets without coming across fresh pumpkin leaves. Over time, they have been forgotten – but with high contents of iron and vitamin K, it’s high time we bring them back. Also known as mekopu, lephotshe, mphodi, motshatsha, mophotse, pampoenblare, ibobola, cetshana, izintanga, umliba, phuri, thanga, tinwembe and muboora, this South African heritage food is scrumptious when steamed or sautéed and paired with simple ingredients.

Mung Beans:

Originating in South East Asia, mung beans have now made their way across the world. Also known as dithlodi and moongh dhall – the beans are filled with goodness, protein and vitamin B. They’re especially delicious when paired with Asian-inspired dishes like noodles, rice and stir-fries. The beans can also be sprouted and added to salads for a fresh crunch.


Cowpeas are found all over the world today, but they originated and are still predominantly produced in Africa. Also known as dinawa, dinaba, munawa, imbumba, isihlumanya, indumba, akkerboontjie, koertjie and black eyed beans – they’re especially tasty when slow-cooked, boiled, mashed, fried or served raw out of a can.

Bambara Groundnuts:

Also known as jugo beans, ditloo marapo, indlubu, hlanga, njugo, nduhu, phonda, or tindhluwa, the bambara groundnut is a rich source of protein, potassium, magnesium, vitamin B1, zinc and iron. This full flavoured legume is especially delicious when roasted and puréed to make creamy soups.


Millet is a nutritious and delicious grain with its origins rooted in Africa. Also known as uphoko, nyalothi, ntweka, amabele, unyaluthi, unyawoti, Inyawuthi, muvhoho, babala, manna, leotja, mhunga and bulrush in and around South Africa, it is full of fibre and contains a considerable amount of vitamin B1. It has a variety of uses, including being ground into flour for breads and pancakes.


Sometimes called umfino, spinach is one of the more common Future 50 ingredients. The iron-rich leafy green can be eaten fresh in salads, stir-fried, added to soups and stews or cooked with some cream for a decadent side dish.

Red Cabbage:

Raw red cabbage contains 11 times more vitamin A than the common cabbage does, and 2.5 times the calcium that lettuce has. Red cabbage will give your salads, stews and stir-fries a healthy boost.


Often referred to as the world’s oldest crop, lentils are protein-rich and filled with a rustic, nutty flavour. The legume is extremely diverse and can be used in stews, soups, curries, stir-fries and salads.


Another ancient ingredient, quinoa is naturally gluten-free and filled with protein, minerals and vitamins. Apart from traditional uses of quinoa, it can also be used as a base for tasty veggie burgers or even ground to make pastas.

Wild Rice:

Wild rice isn’t actually a rice, but rather a seed. It can be prepared in the same way as white rice and it can even be used to make a kind of popcorn.

With the Future 50 report, we’re providing practical ways to bring variety into your everyday diet and helping you reduce your impact on the environment. With our healthy recipes and inspiration, Knorr is making it easier for you and your family to explore and experience our Future 50 Foods from the comfort of your own home.