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PEANUT BUTTER SPREAD IS DELIGHTFUL

My high-calcium recipe for September is my favorite spread for toast. For peanut butter lovers like myself, this is a marvelous way to enjoy the wonderfully rich flavor of peanuts, but with fewer calories and much less fat.

Peanut butter, a staple in most American homes, is a good source of protein, phosphorus and potassium, and it contains no cholesterol. By combining it with ricotta cheese and nonfat milk powder for this spread, each serving also contains a significant amount of calcium.

This healthy and tasty spread offers an excellent way to add more calcium to sandwiches in back-to-school sack lunches. To further increase the amount of calcium, you can substitute blackstrap molasses for the sugar called for in the recipe. Each 2 tablespoons of blackstrap molasses contains 284 milligrams of calcium.

Still another way to add calcium to a sandwich would be to make it on an English muffin, which contains 92 milligrams of calcium, compared with about 50 milligrams in two slices of most bread. Add a carton of milk or calcium-fortified juice to the sack lunch for a real calcium boost!

Peanut Butter Delight

1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese

1/4 cup unhomogenized, smooth peanut butter

1/4 cup dry nonfat milk powder

2 tablespoons water

2 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 tablespoons sugar
Combine all the ingredients in a food processor and blend until satin-smooth. Refrigerate in a tightly covered container.

Makes 1 1/4 cups.

Each 2-tablespoon serving contains approximately: 89 calories; 4 gm fat; 8 mg cholesterol; 47 mg sodium; 106 mg calcium; 7 gm carbohydrates; 5 gm protein; negligible fiber.

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