Stay in peak condition and add fuel to your body - with tasty and nutritious recipes from British Leek

From pounding it out in the gym to clocking up hours in the office, when temperatures plummet boost performance by fuelling the body with carbohydrate-rich foods and leeks packed with anti-oxidants and vitamins to keep colds at bay.

That's the message from Dr Sarah Schenker a consultant sports nutritionist to premier football clubs and an accredited sports dietition – who has developed a host of nutritionally based leek recipes to boost energy throughout the coldest months of the year.

Stay in peak condition and add fuel to your body
Says Dr Schenker, “At this time of year, with energy levels often at an all-time low, carbohydrate is the fuel your muscles need but stores in the body are small, so a regular intake of carboyhydrate-rich foods in a balanced meal is necessary to keep them topped up.

“Choose carbohydrate foods that release their energy slowly such as the oats used in the pancake recipe and flavoured with the leeks and tomatoes. Or try the quick and easy to prepare stir fry. Leeks are packed full of anti-oxidants and rich in iron, vitamin B6, folate and vitamin C to help stave off winter colds and flu.”

Leek lovers already know the benefits of this 'up market onion' whether panfried, sauteed, stir-fried, baked, roasted, braised it has a subtler, sweeter and more sophisticated flavour than onions and is the perfect partner in ham, chicken or cheese dishes.

For a host of seasonal recipes visit the British leek website

The British Leek Grower's Association advices people to look for small or medium-sized leeks with a firm, unblemished white lower part, with bright green leaves and a crisp texture. Smaller leeks tend to be sweeter and more tender.