The Greatest Gift You Can Give Your Family This Xmas

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Christmas is my favourite time of the year. When it comes to Christmas my family doesn’t have a lot of traditions, but one thing we all look forward to is travelling far and wide to share a meal and spend the day together.  

Our Christmas planning started in November, when the yearly ritual of allocating “who is to bring what” for the table occurred.  This year (for the first time ever) we are shunning the traditional roast lunch and replacing it with cold meats and salads, which was probably good foresight given the Mallee forecast for Christmas day is HOT!  On my list of things to bring: cheese platter, roast pork, coleslaw, potato salad, jelly slice, passionfruit cheesecake slice, hazelnut chocolate slice, melting moments and rumballs.  Yes, that is just my list! As you can tell, we are a family of foodies. I’m well prepared, having made a list and checked it twice. All the baking magic will happen next weekend and the rest will be a Christmas Eve extravaganza whilst singing my heart out to Carols By Candlelight on the television.

Now, when it comes to gift giving, I’m not so organised.  There are a few random gifts under our tree already, but I really do have some catching up to do.  Whilst my mind is always full of new recipe ideas, when it comes to buying gifts for people I am certainly not what you would call creative or confident.

All is not lost, however, as this year I have determined one of the best gifts I can give my family is the gift of knowledge, and I’m encouraging you to do the same. 

An important consequence of being the first person in my immediate family to be diagnosed with haemochromatosis is the responsibility of ensuring my mum and dad, brothers and sisters and adult nieces and nephews understand the importance of being screened for haemochromatosis. My family mean the world to me and I want them all to receive the benefits of early diagnosis.

Now, I’m pretty well researched about haemochromatosis, however when it comes to explaining this disorder to someone it can be a little daunting, especially when the conversation turns to genotypes (I’m a C282Y homozygous), mutations, HFE gene test, transferring saturation, serum ferritin and venesections.  This is where Haemochromatosis Australia’s Letter for Family Members comes in handy – a pre-written letter that you can use to help explain the basics of haemochromatosis to your family, including explaining how they can get tested. You can download a copy of this wonderful resource here.

So, as you write out Christmas cards this holiday season, wrap presents and stuff stockings, why not take a few moments to print off the Letter to Family Members and include it with your festive wishes.  The gift of knowledge about haemochromatosis and early diagnosis may just be the greatest gift your family members receive this Christmas.

Want a little sweetness to pass the time as you prepare your Letters to Family Members?  Then why not enjoy these Banana Chocolate Muffins – not only are they ridiculously delicious but they are sugar and gluten free so you can be sure to remain more “nice than naughty” this festive season. Best of all, they are ready in 30 minutes, so by the time you’re done licking envelopes you can put your feet up and enjoy a well deserved cup of tea and treat!

Wishing you health, laughter and low iron this festive season!

Banana Chocolate Muffins
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
30 min
2369 calories
250 g
384 g
144 g
44 g
76 g
956 g
1410 g
98 g
0 g
61 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving
Calories 2369
Calories from Fat 1214
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 144g
Saturated Fat 76g
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 15g
Monounsaturated Fat 46g
Cholesterol 384mg
Sodium 1410mg
Total Carbohydrates 250g
Dietary Fiber 16g
Sugars 98g
Protein 44g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  1. 200g almond meal
  2. 1 tsp baking powder
  3. ½ tsp salt
  4. 2 eggs
  5. 150ml milk (your choice)
  6. 75g cocao powder
  7. 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  8. 200ml coconut nectar (or other syrup of your choice)
  9. 100g dates, chopped.
  10. 1-2 bananas
  1. 1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
  2. 2. Combine almond meal, baking powder, salt and cocao powder in a bowl.
  3. 3. In a separate bowl, mix together the eggs, milk, syrup and vanilla extract. Pour onto the dry ingredients and combine. If a little extra moisture is needed at this stage, add a further egg or splash of milk. Mix in the dates.
  4. 4. Spoon the mixture into muffin tins or patty cases, filing to the top.
  5. 5. Slice the banana and place 1-2 pieces on each muffin to decorate.
  6. 6. Bake for 25 minutes.
  7. 7. Remove from oven and leave to cool.
  1. You can also place a slice of banana into the centre of each muffin for a sweet, gooey surprise.
  2. Banana can be substituted with raspberries or strawberries.
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