Life Lab

Life Lab cultivates children's love of learning, healthy food, and nature through garden-based education.

Green Sauce

Pesto Green Sauce

A mouth-watering dip/spread/sauce full of flavor! 20 minutes, Ages 5+

Classic Basil Pesto:

4 cups fresh basil leaves, packed

½ cup grated parmesan cheese

½ cup olive oil

6 T. pine nuts or walnuts

4 garlic cloves

  1. Place all the basil leaves and garlic in food processor or blender with half the oil and blend until well chopped.
  2. Add about ⅓ of the nuts and the rest of the oil and blend again.
  3. Continue adding small amounts of the nuts and parmesan, blending after each addition, until all the ingredients are incorporated and the pesto is a thick smooth paste.

Amy’s springtime version (Spicy Pesto or Zhoug): 

1 large bunch fresh cilantro 

⅓ bunch fresh parsley

½ cup toasted sunflower seeds

¼ cup olive oil

2-3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped

Juice of 1 lemon

¾ tsp. Salt

⅛ tsp. pepper

¼ tsp. each: cumin & cardamom 

1 small jalapeno or ½ tsp. red pepper flakes (optional)

  1. Process all ingredients in a food processor until you have the consistency you want, and taste to adjust the seasonings. 
  2. Serve on everything! Crackers, veggies, bread, or anything you’re having for dinner!

Green Sauce is a universal concept. Countless cultures around the world create a green condiment that becomes a centerpiece of their cuisine, from pesto to chimichurri to salsa verde to zhoug. The basic idea is to blend whatever fresh, seasonal herbs are on hand with some acid, salt, fat and spice, for an intuitive formula that anyone can mix up in no time. The result can be used as a dip, a dressing or a drizzle on top of pretty much anything, and adds a zesty zip to whatever you pair it with. Kids love food processors (I mean, who doesn’t like pushing a button and watching stuff blend?), and the act of throwing a bunch of ingredients together and then pouring out the finished product mere seconds later is empowering and fun.  

If you are feeling adventurous try making Nasturtium Leaf Pesto as shared in our newsletter archive

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Become a Life Lab Certified Gardener! 🌱🌻Based on the success of our first four cohorts of Life Lab-Certified Garden Educators, we are excited to announce that registration is now open for individuals to register and be part of our fifth cohort starting January 23rd, 2023! We’ve put together a series of 4 on-line courses that will guide and support educators in becoming a Life Lab-Certified School Garden Educator. Upon successful completion of the 4 courses, participants will receive a certificate and the distinction of being a Life Lab-Certified Garden Educator. Each course will last 4 weeks long and include 4 synchronous meetings, at-home work, and a unique coaching model. The total commitment for the full series is 16 weeks. Check out our website for more information! Registration for the full certification series is now open. Please share with others who are looking for ideas and inspiration in the garden! There are 24 spots available and we sold out in our last 4 certification series. We hope you can join us!Life Lab offers a limited number of course fee reductions based on need and anticipated impact. To apply for financial assistance, follow the link below. Scholarship applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis between now and December 1st, 2022 or until all funds have been awarded.

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www.lifelab.org/jobs Full-time Bilingual Garden Educators at PVUSD School Gardens and Summer Program Staff at Garden Classroom on UCSC Farm

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