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Can You Eat Frozen Vegetables Raw? Is It Safe?

Kristie Leong M.D. is a family practitioner who believes in the power of nutrition and a healthy lifestyle to prevent and fight illness.

Is It Okay to Eat Frozen Vegetables Raw?

Can you eat frozen vegetables raw? There are certain times of the year, such as the winter when fresh vegetables are scarcer and more expensive. Luckily, frozen vegetables are available year-round and usually cost less than their fresh counterparts.

If you catch a sale, you can pick up a few bags and store them in the freezer until you're ready to eat them. No worries about the veggies going bad before you can enjoy their nutritional goodness.

Frozen Vegetables Raw: Safe or Not?

However, with all the emphasis on raw vegetables these days, you might wonder if it is safe to eat frozen vegetables raw.

For example, some people wonder whether they can thaw frozen vegetables and sprinkle them on a salad without cooking them.

The answer is yes! It's safe to eat frozen vegetables raw. Although they might not taste as good as carefully prepared fresh vegetables or even cooked frozen vegetables, they're still tasty and nutritious.

If you desire, you can even eat frozen vegetables straight from the bag.

Let Them Thaw a Little Before Eating

You might like the extra crunchiness of a frozen vegetable but let it thaw before chowing down on them. A big piece of frozen broccoli, for example, could break a tooth unless you let it soften up a bit.

So, place a bag of vegetables in the refrigerator until they soften up a bit. If you want to keep your frozen veggies from getting soggy when you thaw them out, put them in a colander and rinse with cold water until the ice melts away.

Broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, peas, and green beans you can enjoy raw in salads. You can even sprinkle thawed corn kernels onto a salad for an added touch of color.

If you have a recipe for soup or stew that calls for fresh vegetables—like green beans or broccoli—add some frozen ones as well. They'll thaw in the simmering liquid, adding texture and flavor without any additional effort on your part.

They Are Nutritious

There's a common misconception that frozen vegetables are less nutritious than fresh ones. Frozen vegetables are fresh vegetables that the manufacturer blanches, freezes, and packages for shelf-stable storage.

Since producers freeze vegetables at their peak of freshness and the veggies are flash-frozen to maintain taste and nutrition, frozen vegetables may be more nutritious than fresh.

The Nutrients Are Stable

Fresh veggies lose more than half their vitamins within the first 24 hours after harvest. Plus, fresh vegetables may travel long distances and sit on store shelves before being eaten, all the while losing nutrients. Freezing locks in freshness and nutrients.

The nutrients in frozen vegetables have more staying power. Although they can lose small quantities of B-vitamins and vitamin C during initial processing, nutrient loss stabilizes after freezing.

Frozen vegetables retain most of their nutrients after being frozen and stored for up to 12 months. However, freezing them for more than six months can degrade their taste.

They Are Convenient

Whether you eat frozen vegetables raw or cooked, they're convenient. If you go grocery shopping once a week or less, frozen produce will save you time because they're already washed and cut up so you don't have extra prep.

You can also choose from a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors of fruits and veggies in your freezer case so you can always find exactly what you need for your recipe—no hunting required!

Frozen vegetables are perfect for making large batches of salads, stir-fries, soups, and other dishes that require chopped or shredded veggies at any time of year.

Is It Okay to Wash Raw Frozen Vegetables With Water?

Washing frozen vegetables with water is a controversial topic among health-conscious eaters. Most experts agree that it's safe to wash your fresh produce before eating it, but few have made definitive conclusions about whether or not it's healthy to do so for frozen products.

Whether you eat your frozen vegetables raw or cooked, there's no reason to wash them. They are frozen, so food poisoning is less of a concern. The other reason people wash frozen vegetables is because of concerns about pesticides.

However, frozen vegetables undergo repeated washings and processing that removes most of the pesticides. So, there's no real reason to wash them.

Eat Your (Frozen) Vegetables!

Can you eat frozen vegetables raw? Yes! It's safe but you can also enjoy them cooked. Steaming and microwaving are quick and convenient ways to get them on the table and you can add a special sauce or seasonings to enhance their taste.

But if you want to add thawed frozen vegetables to your salad without cooking them, it's safe to do so. The most important thing is to eat your veggies!


"Are Frozen Vegetables Healthy?." 22 May. 2020,

Rickman JC, Barrett DM, Bruhn CM. Nutritional comparison of fresh, frozen, and canned fruits and vegetables. Part 1. Vitamins C and B and phenolic compounds. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture. 2007;87(6):930-944. doi:10.1002/jsfa.2825.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.