The Ideal Way To Use Frozen Veggies Without Cooking Them

Even though fresh vegetables are the preferred choice for most recipes, the frozen alternative can be a true lifesaver for home cooks and professional chefs alike. Unlike some fresh produce which is only available seasonally, you can get almost any frozen vegetable you want at any time of the year. And since they come already cleaned, peeled, and chopped, they're much faster to prepare — not to mention how nutritious frozen vegetables are, thanks to being flash-frozen right after harvesting during their peak season.

But even with these clear advantages, we all know how tricky it can be to cook frozen veggies without ending up with a soggy, sad-looking meal. However, the solution to this problem is simpler than you may have thought: not cooking them. You can simply thaw the veggies and add them to your salads. Just be sure that all the vegetables are completely thawed and at room temperature before digging in.

Spruce up your meals with uncooked frozen vegetables

Using uncooked vegetables in your meals saves you time and makes for a pretty nutritious spread, since cooking your veggies at a high heat actually results in a significant loss of their vitamins and minerals. For instance, a 2013 study published in Nutrition & Food Science showed that by boiling spinach, lettuce, and broccoli, you lose about 50% of their vitamin C content and more than 20% during microwaving. That's enough reason to eat your veggies raw, right?

You can also gain some simple pleasures from using frozen veggies as is. Take, for example, blending and adding frozen cauliflower to a homemade smoothie; as registered dietician Dana Angelo White shared with Allrecipes, it "helps make the smoothie perfectly frosty."

But if you're still unsure how to use your frozen veggies without cooking them, an easy trick is to look up recipes that include raw vegetables, or ones that are best served cold. Those are great opportunities to grab your frozen veggies, defrost them, and toss them into the mixture. You could try adding previously frozen peas to pasta salads, substituting thawed green beans for canned in a three-bean salad, and adding defrosted corn to a Southwestern salad or dip.