Show Your Heart Some Love with Calcium-Rich Peanut Butter Cups

This post was written by Emily Rubin, RD, Clinical Dietitian in the Jefferson Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

How would one describe peanut butter?  Creamy, full fat, rich flavor and a childhood favorite. People love it on bread, crackers, apples or even by the spoon. It does provide some  protein -7 grams, healthy fat, fiber, iron  and B- vitamins. The down side is that it provides a high number of calories: 190  and 17 grams of fat  per 2-tablespoon serving which is  a small serving.

Working with patients with conditions such as Heart Disease, Gastroparesis,  Inflammatory Bowel Disease , Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) and Pancreatitis to name a few, consuming traditional peanut butter can be challenging.  Some people can’t eat the high-fat food without experiencing gastrointestinal symptoms. My job is to find an alternative that has the flavor without the fat  such as powdered peanut butter, de-fatted peanut butter or low-fat creamy peanut butter.

What is the  benefit of these peanut butter alternatives? They  cut down the  fat count by more than half. Actually, up to 85 percent less in some cases.  Powdered peanut butter  contains 45 calories, 2 grams of fat and 5 grams of protein per 2 tablespoons. It is made by pressing peanuts to remove their fat and oil content, while maintaining their taste. It looks like a powder and it is re-hydrated  by adding liquid.  They  can be added to smoothies, dips, sauces, desserts, and more.

Here is a  sweet treat  for a healthy heart: Calcium-Rich, Lean Peanut Butter Cups

Ingredients make 6  muffin cups.

Chocolate Layer:

  • 3/4 cup  vanilla nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla  almond milk (or skim milk)
  • ½ cup cocoa powder (unsweetened) – dark or regular
  • 5 packets of Splenda

Peanut Butter Layer:

  • ¾ cup low-fat or de-fatted creamy peanut butter- melt for 20 seconds in microwave


  • 3/4 cup powdered peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 4 packets Splenda
  1. In two small bowls combine chocolate ingredients  and  peanut butter ingredients  separately.
  2. Line muffin tin with six muffin liners and spray with cooking spray. Pour  2 tablespoons of the chocolate mixture into each liner.  Then pour 1 tablespoon of  peanut butter mixture  and finish off by pouring 1 tablespoon of the chocolate mixture on top of the peanut butter layer.
  3. Place muffin tin in the freezer and freeze for 1-2 hours. Take them out of the freezer about 10 minutes  before  eating. These must be stored in the freezer.
  4. Enjoy or share with your loved ones!

Serving Size: 1 peanut butter cup
Amount Per Serving

  • Calories 160
  • Total Fat 2 g
  • Cholesterol 0.0 mg
  • Sodium 70 mg
  • Potassium 300 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate 22 g
  • Dietary Fiber 2 g
  • Protein 5 g
  • Calcium 30 percent

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