While we are still having warm temperatures, fall is just around the corner and already pumpkin spice products are hitting the shelves.

St. Luke's Registered Dietitian, Caroline Messerschmidt came on the News at Noon to share with us some tips on why pumpkin spice isn't so nice.

Pumpkin spice is in just about every packaged food this time of year and time and time again we are told to limit packaged food to be healthier.

But so often these limited edition foods are a way for companies to fuel feelings of scarcity and get us to rack up the calories we consume from their products.

Tip 1: Chose what foods you really want to eat. Meaning, you don't have to try everything just because it is in limited supply. That is a good tip to keep in mind as the holidays are just around the corner and everything seems like it is a "once a year" opportunity.

Tip 2: Consider making your own pumpkin spice foods.

What is it: a blend of cinnamon, clove, ginger, nutmeg

Often, those spices aren't even in some of the foods on the shelves. Cinnamon is nice because it adds a natural sweetness and the blend can taste great in all sorts of foods.

Tip 3: Enjoy the seasonal flavors by making healthier options. Example: granola - something many people buy but is loaded with sugar.

Simple pumpkin spice granola

3 cups oats

1/2 cup pumpkin puree

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup maple syrup

1 teaspoon pumpkin spice blend

1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup almonds

1/2 cup pepitas

Heat oven to 350F. In a skillet, heat oil, syrup and pumpkin. Stir to combine and heat until warm throughout. In a bowl, combine remaining ingredients. Pour pumpkin mixture over and stir to combine. Spread mixture out on a large baking sheet and bake in 350F oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with unsweetened yogurt or atop sliced pears.